President-elect Donald Trump and establishment Republicans did not really get along during the campaign. The last time we counted, earlier this fall, we calculated that House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) disagreed with or denounced Trump on average every week-and-a-half or so.
But the campaign is over, and Republicans and Trump are trying to play nice. In interviews since the election, they've stressed they agree with their president on tax reform, repealing Obamacare and securing the border.
It's not uncommon for the party in the White House to have some disagreements with its own members in Congress. But if you take Trump's campaign promises at his word, Republicans have fundamental disagreements with their incoming president on his proposals to spend billions on infrastructure, deport millions of immigrants in the country illegally and institute more protectionist trade policies.
And the cracks on those issues are starting to show. Here are six areas where Republicans have given Trump's agenda a lukewarm response.
Trump: "What we are going to do is get the people that are criminals and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, a lot of these people, probably 2 million. It could even be 3 million," he told CBS's Lesley Stahl in a "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday. "After the border is secured and after everything gets normalized, we're going to make a determination on the people that you're talking about, who are terrific people."
Ryan: "We are not planning on erecting a deportation force," he told Jake Tapper on Sunday's CNN "State of the Union." "Donald Trump is not planning on that."
(To that, hard-right news site Breitbart.com — whose former chief will be a top strategist to Trump — blasted out an article declaring: "Paul Ryan: No Deportations")
Newt Gingrich: "There are going to be substantial deportations. They're called criminals," the former House speaker and Trump ally told John Dickerson on Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation." "I mean, 2 million people would be a lot of people to deport."
Kevin McCarthy: "Well, I think it's difficult to do," the House majority leader (R-Calif.) said Sunday in response to a question by Fox News's Chris Wallace on whether he'd get behind Trump's proposal for mass deportations.
2. A border wall
Trump: "Yes." (In response to a question by Stahl: "Are you really going to build a wall?") Trump did say he'd accept some proposals circulating in Congress for some fencing: "For certain areas, I would. But certain areas, a wall is more appropriate."
McCarthy: "You have to put a wall, it could be all virtual with the UAV airplanes as well, but I think that is doable and one of the first things that needs to be done. The terrain is different, so you can't always build in just a specific place, but you can protect it."
Trump: Has repeatedly said he'd like to renegotiate or rip up trade deals. And he has promised to establish tariffs in his first 100 days.
Ryan: "Well, I think there's a better way of dealing with that particular issue," Ryan said on CNN in response to a question about Trump's tariffs plan. "We think there are better ways of dealing with making American products and workers more competitive, and really it's fixing our tax code."
4. Term limits for members of Congress
Trump: "We're going to put on term limits, which a lot of people aren't happy about, but we're putting on term limits," he said on "60 Minutes."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): "I say we have term limits now. They’re called elections. It will not be on the agenda in the Senate," McConnell told reporters the day after the election.
5. Infrastructure spending
Trump: "We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none," Trump said on "60 Minutes." During the campaign, Trump pitched a 10-year, $500 billion infrastructure plan. "And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it."
Ryan: In September, Ryan indicated such a plan as proposed by Trump would be too expensive. "We passed the biggest highway bill, the long-term highway bill, for the first time since the 1990s just a few months ago. That's already in place at 10 percent above baseline spending on mass transit and highways."
McCarthy: McCarthy said on Fox News that "there is a place we could find common ground with Republicans and Democrats" on infrastructure. But he seemed unable to explain how Trump's infrastructure spending plan differs from President Obama's 2009 stimulus. "Obama never had infrastructure in his stimulus," he said. (Infrastructure spending was a major part of Obama's stimulus.)
6. Whether Republicans have a mandate
Ryan: "He just earned a mandate, and we now just have a unified Republican government. The opportunity is to go big, to go bold and to get things done," he said in a news conference Wednesday.
McConnell: " I think it’s always a mistake to misread your mandate, and frequently new majorities think it’s going to be forever," he told reporters Wednesday. "Nothing is forever in this country."
Where Trump and Republicans are in agreement
There are a handful of areas that Trump and Republicans seem genuinely in agreement on. They are:
Obamacare: Trump wants to repeal it; Republicans want to repeal it. Trump wants to keep the parts of the law that allow people under the age of 26 to stay on their parents' health-care plans and that require insurance companies to insure people with preexisting conditions. It looks like Republicans do, too.
Ryan on CNN said: "We need to have a solution for people with preexisting conditions. In our plan is allowing younger people up to the age of 26 to stay on their parents' plan."
Secure the border: Republicans and Trump agree this is a priority, perhaps even before deporting immigrants in the country illegally.
Trump on 60 Minutes: "But before we make that determination, Lesley, it's very important — we want to secure our border."
Ryan on CNN: "We think that's first and foremost. Before we get into any other immigration issue, we have got to know who's coming and going in the country. We have got to secure the border."
Tax reform: Ryan's top policy priority appears to be one of Trump's as well.
"We're going to substantially simplify and lower the taxes," Trump said.
Steve Bannon: Trump tapped the controversial Breitbart chief Sunday to make him his chief strategist. On Sunday, Ryan said: "I don’t know Steve Bannon, so I have no concerns. I trust Donald’s judgment." On Monday in an interview with MSNBC, Trump's incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said Bannon is "a force for good."
But on this key appointment, there is the potential for division between Republicans and Trump.
Hill Republicans were effusive in their praise and congratulations Sunday for Priebus — currently the head of the Republican National Committee and a buddy of Ryan's — getting the top job. But they were nearly silent on Bannon's appointment.
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