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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It is a fact President Trump had a consequential first two years: a huge tax cut, two Supreme Court justices and lots of regulations eliminated.

But it is also a fact that he did this in the kind of political environment all presidents dream of but few ever got: full control of government in peaceful and prosperous times. His job now is not just harder — it’s exponentially harder.

  • He shifts from a compliant Republican Congress to a stubbornly divided one.
  • Thanks to his tax cuts, deficits are shooting past $1 trillion annually, providing little wiggle room for new spending programs.
  • The era of cheap money is over. He can kvetch about the Fed all he wants — rates are going up.
  • The market went from roaring to rude, and most think a recession is coming our way.
  • The Mueller investigation is a threat and nuisance.
  • Congressional subpoenas and public hearings are hell.

Trump is already seeing the perils of his new reality:

  • He threatened a government shutdown and promised to take full ownership of it.
  • Democrats are planning a flurry of investigations come January.
  • Even routine tasks (for him) like finding a new chief of staff are harder.

Be smart: Trump faces all these headwinds as he ramps up a re-election campaign for a race in which the path to victory and margin for error are as slim and elusive as any in a lifetime.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Nov. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to use a $908 billion bipartisan coronavirus relief framework as a basis for jumpstarting negotiations.

Why it matters: The framework, introduced by a group of bipartisan senators on Tuesday, calls for significantly less funding than Pelosi had previously demanded — a sign that Democrats are ready to further compromise as millions of Americans endure economic hardship.

Democrat Mark Kelly sworn in to U.S. Senate

Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Astronaut Mark Kelly (D) was sworn in to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday after defeating incumbent Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) last month for the seat once held by the late Sen. John McCain.

Why it matters: Kelly's swearing-in by Vice President Mike Pence narrows the Republican majority and moves the Senate balance to 52-48.

Senate Armed Services chair dismisses Trump threat to veto defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Wednesday that he plans to move ahead with a crucial defense-spending bill without provisions that would eliminate tech industry protections, defying a veto threat from President Trump.

Why it matters: Inhofe's public rebuke signals that the Senate could have enough Republican backing to override a potential veto from Trump, who has demanded that the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.