It took a hurricane of biblical proportions, with a second even larger storm looming off the coast, but the Trump Administration finally passed a piece of legislation. Of course, the president did have to partner up with unlikely Democratic allies, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, to broker the deal for a $15 billion dollar down payment for Hurricane Harvey relief.

While Harvey’s destruction dominated the 24-hour news cycle, and Irma blasted through the tropics, the president resorted to good old-fashion horse trading to cut a deal extending the debt ceiling for three months in return for hurricane relief.

Predictably, numerous Republicans lost their minds. House Speaker Paul Ryan described the deal as “disgraceful.” Ninety Republican Congressmen, including Texans Joe Barton, Jeb Hensarling, Mac Thornberry and Sam Johnson, voted against the bill.

Similarly, Democratic activists attacked Pelosi and Schumer for failing to tie protection for 800,000 “Dreamers” facing deportation from Trump’s threat to rescind DACA to the hurricane relief package. Pro-immigration Democrat Congressmen Luis Gutierrez accused fellow Democrats of “collaborating” with Republicans, as if the idea of our elected officials working together was somehow unnatural.

To those 90 Republican Congressmen, including the four Texans, and to Democrats like Luis Gutierrez, I say get over yourselves, wake up and smell the coffee, or just start looking for a new line of work.

The reality is the adage about the sausage-making nature of legislation is spot on. I am the last person to defend Trump and still believe he is a pompous narcissist, but he is the duly elected president. Literally, for the first time since Inauguration Day, I woke up with hope that we might finally get some semblance of functionality from the president and Congress.

We are a country of Americans — not Republicans and Democrats. We all have to deal with radical terrorists, the mad dictator from North Korea, broken health care, monster hurricanes and an even more monstrous federal deficit. It is a sure sign that this stupid war between Republicans and Democrats is out of control if we can’t even broker a simple compromise to extend the debt ceiling and start hurricane relief.

The good news is the odd trio of Trump, Schumer and Pelosi are shrugging off criticism from entrenched radicals of both parties and at least discussing additional compromises on DACA and border security. Maybe with both parties actually negotiating compromises like real elected officials we will see meaningful tax reform, health care reform and rational strategies for addressing ISIS and North Korea.

I am certainly not suggesting that we should all break out in a chorus of “Kumbaya.” Republicans and Democrats can still fight like cats and dogs — as long as they keep working. But to the radical fringe elements of both parties, I say if we continue down the pre-Harvey path the only winners will be incumbent politicians, special interests and radical terrorists. To everyone else if you want to know who the losers will be — well just look in the mirror.

Neil G. Baron, an attorney and former League City Councilman, is writing columns from a progressive perspective.

(10) comments

Carlos Ponce

"the Trump Administration finally passed a piece of legislation."
According to CNN, Trump has signed 53 legislative bills into law as of August 23.
Although he finds some of the legislation "flawed" they do bear his signature.
Among them is S. 1094 - "Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017" signed on June 23, 2017 - very important to fix VA hospital problems that have been going on for decades. Since the CNN report several more pieces of legislation bear his signature.
Maybe Neil has a different definition for "legislation" than the rest of the world.
Definition of legislation: a law or a body of laws enacted

Mark Aaron

Poor Carlos, still trying to pretend the inept Trump Administration has accomplished anything of consequence. Mostly all he has don e is name a few buildings and make it easier to pollute or for the mentally ill to be able to buy guns.

Trump was sure full of promises on the campaign trail, but nothing he promised has been accomplished, or has been struck down by the courts.

Jim Forsythe

"CNN report several more pieces of legislation bear his signature." Working on legislation is different than signing bills . When a President is able to work with allies from the other party, it is a start in the right direction. What Neil was getting at , this was the first time the two parties has worked together on important  issues with a good result.
If the number of bills signed is important , then Trump has a ways to go. He has a  majority in the Senate and the House, and he stills has trouble passing bills. This is why he has started working with the Democrats.

December 19, 2014
 He signed 51 -- yes, you read that right -- bills into law Thursday. That's two days after he signed 32 bills into law.
Gotha love that bipartisan holiday spirit.
By our count, President Obama has now signed 210 bills into law this year. And ... 83 of them were signed this week. 

Of the ones Trump has signed on the same level as George W. Bush's ?
George W. Bush during his presidency of 8 years from 2001 to 2008 signed 56 legislations. Major ones of these included Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq, Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002, United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act, Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007. He vetoed Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act and 2 other legislations.
. Some of the international treaties signed during Bush's presidency were SORT, Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, International Cooperation on Computer Crimes among others.

Diane Turski

Well said, Mr. Baron! As Americans, I believe that we should immediately stop enabling the radical elements from all of our various political parties, including the international meddlers who are doing their best to divide us into warring Democrat and Republican tribes in order to undermine our democracy! It is time to consider the "big picture" and support common sense compromises that support our American values!

Paula Flinn

I agree with you, Diane. Good article, Mr. Baron.

George Croix

Pigs have grown wings...little stubby inefficient ones, but, wings nonetheless....
The author actually managed to write an article that closely resembles the non-ideologically filtered facts of the matter...imo....

This was a LOUSY time for anyone in Congress to worry about exceeding the debt ceiling, when neither side of the aisle typically really cares one whit about doing so.
BOTh sides of the aisle always have as their main concern the political fallout from their base(s), and look ahead in all things to the next elections.
Pres. Trump does NOT care about Party as much as he does about getting his way and doing rather than sitting still.

Nancy and Chuck despise the Pres., but were willing to choke down their disgust in order to make a big government money deal to help...yes, help...needy storm victims that also greatly benefits them forces their political enemies to have gone on record as voting against helping flood victims, never minding the actual reason for said vote, as all that's needed are the optics.
The entire Republican Establishment despises the Pres. but were, as usual, too busy chewing on each other to realize that their correct assessment of the need for some effort to control debt does not trump (no pun) the need to attend to a disaster, and never in a million years figured their political opponents would deign to deal with the Pres., thereby, yet again, snatching defeat from victory.
Personally, I don't care about the reasons, but I also don't care about whether I like somebody or not to be able to work with them. Politicians could learn a lesson....
IF..BIG IF...Pres. Trump can forget the pique of those entrenched in Party politics to make moves and form alliances, even if temporary, and never-minding the overt or ulterior motives of the participants in the face of a greater priority, that benefit ALL all the citizens and legal residents of this country, and worry about the voting later.....then he'll have done well....
Even one cold Diet Coke is better than none.....

Jarvis Buckley

Millions have folks 401-k has doubled since President Trump.

Mark Aaron

Jarvis: "Millions have folks 401-k has doubled since President Trump."

You can thank President Obama for the most of the gains you have seen. Wages, jobs, and the market remain on the trajectory established by President Obama. Don't expect that to last much longer with an incompetent fool like Trump in office.

Jim Forsythe

For your 401k to go up 100% in 8 months is impressive! You most be in real aggressive investments. Stocks are still on the uptick, but will not last forever. 
When President Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) slumped to 7,949.09, the lowest inaugural performance for the Dow since its creation.  When Trump took office the Dow was 19,887 
If the Dow goes up  the same amount which was 140% under Obama, during the next eight years ,the Dow will be over 40,000



George Croix

I'll be happier when the interest rate goes up, and remove that artificial crutch from the 'good economy' bag of tricks.....

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