Conflict sharpens between Trump and Congress

Submitted by martin on 28 May, 2019 - 12:48 Author: Rhodri Evans

More and more journalists and politicians in the USA are calling for the Democrats in the House of Representatives to start impeachment proceedings against president Donald Trump.

As Congress went into recess on 23 May (it reconvenes on 4 June), Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Reps, said she didn't want to start on impeachment.

But she did declare Trump incompetent by calling on his "family and staff" to stage an "intervention" to assess his psychological "well-being" - "for the good of the country".

Trump, and Trump-friendly media, responded in playground-bully style by circulating videos of Pelosi doctored so as to portray her as slurring her speech and stammering.

Pelosi also accused Trump of "cover-ups". That is no more than a sober statement of facts. A number of congressional investigations into Trump's conduct and business affairs are underway, and he's stalling.

Trump responded by walking out of a scheduled meeting with Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer on 22 May and say he would refuse to work with them until Congress dropped its investigations.

The meeting was to negotiate ways to approve funds for infrastructure projects (one of Trump's big election pledges). Trump told the media:

"I walked into the room and I told Senator Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, I want to do infrastructure. I want to do it more than you want to do it. I’d be really good at that - that’s what I do. But you know what? You can’t do it under these circumstances. So get these phony investigations over with."

Trump's administration now lacks the ballast of "safe", mainstream figures it once had. Its erratic ways are scary both for us and for the thinkers of the ruling class.

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) have commented on the moves to ban abortion in the state of Georgia: "We are in a new legal era, with a conservative Supreme Court majority and federal courts packed with extreme-right judges due to Trump’s support and the many Democrats’ complacency."

And the USA's biggest union federation, the AFL-CIO, summed up Trump's first two years as "a wide-ranging and deeply harmful assault on the rights, dignities and livelihoods of working people".

But the process of building a real movement against Trump in workplaces and communities is still weak. Although he has done pretty much none of what he promised in the 2016 presidential election, his opinion poll score has been fairly stable around the upper 30s % since early 2017.

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