Jun 26, 2018

Trump's domestic gridlock

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

For President Trump's first term, the domestic agenda appears to be all but over. Congress has little chance of doing anything notable before the election, beyond confirming judges.

Why it matters: Whichever party ekes out a House win in November, the margin will likely be narrow. When we game out 2019 scenarios with administration officials, a number of them assume Republicans will lose the House. So Washington is gridlocked until at least January 2021 — meaning that this is it for signature legislation in Trump's first term.

  • The idea of Trump shifting into bipartisan mode post-election seems unimaginable. He has chosen a strategy of hot partisan warfare that looks impossible to cool. 
  • If Democrats win the House, it’s two years of subpoenas and impeachment talk.

The biggest domestic accomplishment, tax reform, is behind him.

  • So Trump — frustrated with a hopelessly dysfunctional Congress and unable to understand why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) doesn’t get rid of the legislative filibuster — is turning away from Capitol Hill and towards unilateral actions and foreign affairs.
  • He has grown obsessed with executive orders, constantly hounding staff for ways to fix things like the border crisis without Congress. But there are strict limits on what any president can do alone. 
  • Most of his attention is going to North Korea, China, Iran, a multi-front trade war, the tense relationship with European allies and the looming presence of Russia.

Be smart: Trump wants to make his mark on world affairs — and he’s doing so, unbound by history or basic rules of diplomacy. At home, it'll likely be all talk for years to come.

Go deeper

Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen

Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been taken to the intensive care unit of St. Thomas Hospital in London due to increasingly severe coronavirus symptoms.

The backdrop: Johnson was admitted to the hospital on Sunday for what Downing Street called "routine tests" because his condition had not improved ten days after he tested positive for the virus. His condition has since "worsened," according to a statement, and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will step into his place "where necessary."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,309,439 — Total deaths: 73,703 — Total recoveries: 273,546Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 352,546 — Total deaths: 10,389 — Total recoveries: 18,953Map.
  3. 2020 update: Wisconsin governor issues executive order to delay in-person primary voting until June.
  4. Public health latest: Asymptomatic children could play important role in coronavirus spread, new data from the CDC shows.
  5. States' latest: West coast states send ventilators to New York and other states experiencing a more immediate need — Data suggests coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  6. Jobs latest: Unemployment could already be at 13% "and moving higher," per former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Wisconsin governor issues order to delay in-person primary voting until June

Tony Evers. Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) issued an executive order Monday delaying in-person voting for the state's primary election — currently scheduled for Tuesday — until June 9.

Why it matters: Wisconsin was slated to be the only state to vote on Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic, despite having a stay-at-home order in place.

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