Politics & Policy

The Corner

‘How the GOP Crack-Up Happens’

My Politico column today is on what might happen to the fraught relationship between the GOP Congress and Trump if Obamacare repeal and replacement sinks beneath the waves:

For now, it is in the interest of both Congress and Trump to make their shotgun marriage work. The speaker is pursuing replace simultaneously with repeal because that was Trump’s preference, and the president has been supportive of Ryan’s bill, while maintaining his flexibility.

This is sustainable so long as things are going smoothly; the time of testing is when things don’t go well. House leadership is counting on Trump to help to get its bill over the top, at the same time it realizes he may look for an offramp as soon as it looks like leadership is failing.

If the bill falters in the House, it will be the most fraught moment of GOP tension since the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape. Except the question won’t be whether congressmen and senators dump Trump, but whether Trump dumps them.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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