Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel said she believes GOP lawmakers are at risk of losing their seats in 2018 if they don’t prove they can govern soon.
“It’s hard to win if you don’t govern. If you make these promises, it’s going to be hard for us to win in the midterms,” McDaniel told the Washington Examiner in an interview Thursday. “I think it’s early.”
The 115th Congress just surpassed its first 100 days, having rolled back a number of Obama-era regulations using the Congressional Review Act and confirmed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch — a momentum McDaniel hopes will continue. Bu while Republicans accomplished a few of their goals, repealing and replacing Obamacare — one of their top campaign promises — is still in limbo as lawmakers continue to attempt to hash out a deal after enduring a massive political blunder in March, when leadership had to pull their repeal bill off the floor due to a lack of votes.
While the different factions of the conference have been vocal about their divide on certain issues, McDaniel said the variety if opinions can be an asset in terms of crafting legislation.
“I actually think it’s a strength of our party that we have a robust dialogue, that you bring different viewpoints to the discussion,” she told The Examiner. “The Democrats are always in lockstep with each and that is exactly why we have the disaster of Obamacare. They didn’t have a discussion. They didn’t have people pointing out, ‘hey, there’s a flaw here. Let’s talk about this. Let’s take it to our constituents. Let’s have a transparent process. Let’s maybe read it before we pass it.’ Those types of things maybe would have made it a better bill.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan recently noted the party is still adjusting to legislating with a Republican administration.
“We are going through the inevitable growing pains that we must go through to convert from being a 10-year opposition party to being a governing party within the span of four months,” he said at an event hosted by WisPolitics.com in early-April. “And so, did I ever think it would go perfectly? No, of course not. Two-thirds of our members have never served with a Republican president before.”
McDaniel had similar sentiments, arguing it’s easier to get members to oppose issues than come together on legislation.
“It’s very easy to unite a party around opposition or wanting to get the White House back. That’s a unifying message, and you’re seeing the Democrats uniting around being the party of ‘no’ and the party of ‘resist,'” she said. “It is harder when you govern because you have things you have to run on and sometimes your constituents may not agree on certain things that you’re doing.
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