Speaking to a local Rotary Club gathering in his home state, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) vented that he thinks President Donald Trump and his supporters set the bar too high going into the current Congress.
Part of the reason I think that the storyline is that we haven't done much is because, in part, the president and others have set these early timelines about things need to be done by a certain point. Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before. And I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process. So part of the reason I think people feel we're underperforming is because too many artificial deadlines—unrelated to the reality of the complexity of legislating—may not have been fully understood.
McConnell, whose wife is Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, said he found it "extremely irritating" that Congress has earned a do-nothing reputation. He also expressed frustration over what he perceived to be the president's "disconnect" in declaring legislative victories that don't match legislative reality. He instead urged his constituents to judge the Congress on what it accomplishes as a whole prior to the 2018 elections.
Despite a number of minor pieces of legislation passing, the current Congress remains on pace to be the least productive, in terms of legislation, in more than 150 years. The lone campaign promise the president made that has been fulfilled through Congress and not executive action was the confirmation of Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.