Behind the smiles, tough reality for Trump and GOP Congress
WASHINGTON (AP) — The budding new alliance between Donald Trump and congressional Republicans hides a tougher reality: Even with unified GOP control of Washington, the president-elect's priorities may have trouble getting through Congress.
And in some cases Republicans themselves might be the barrier.
Building a border wall and restricting immigration from terror-stricken nations? Don't count on Senate Democrats to go along, and they will effectively wield veto power in many cases.
Repealing President Barack Obama's health care law? That looks likely to happen in some way, shape or form, but a number of states that accepted that law's expansion of the Medicaid health program for the poor are represented by Republicans. It will take painstaking and potentially lengthy negotiations to come up with a solution.
And then there are Trump's protectionist views on trade, skepticism about international treaty organizations and promises to protect Social Security and Medicare. All that flies in the face of Republican Party orthodoxy – and the list goes on.
Still, all that seemed like a problem for another day as Trump paid a triumphant visit to Capitol Hill on Thursday after a cordial White House meeting with President Barack Obama.
He sat down with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, whom he derided as "very weak and ineffective" just last month after Ryan distanced himself over audio of Trump talking about groping women. Ryan was all smiles as he escorted Trump, wife Melania and Vice President-elect Mike Pence onto the Capitol Balcony to give them a view of the inauguration platform being constructed for Trump to take the oath of office Jan. 20.