Burgess Everett and John Bresnahan report for Politico: “In a private lunch with Senate Republicans on Tuesday, a rejuvenated Trump laid out an ambitious legislative agenda and put past intraparty conflicts behind him as he reveled in apparent vindication after special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations that the president colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign.”
What’s this “ambitious legislative agenda”? From the article, it seems to consist of getting nominations confirmed; passing the administration’s revisions to NAFTA; passing a deal with China that has not yet been made; and trying again on replacing Obamacare. The first two items are not especially ambitious. The third is too notional to be evaluated. The fourth is almost certainly just an idle presidential thought, as the White House has no Obamacare-replacement plan, the Senate has almost no interest in taking up the issue, and the House is in Democratic hands. Saying “I’d like to do something on health care and on China” is not the same as having an agenda on those topics.
I’m almost always in favor of Republicans’ having an ambitious, conservative legislative agenda, although there are sometimes reasonable political-strategy arguments against it. Whether or not they should have one, though, it seems pretty clear that they don’t.