Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is blaming President Trump's "excessive expectations" for what he considers an unjust perception that Congress, under his leadership, has not been productive.
"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," McConnell told a Rotary Club gathering in Kentucky Monday.
McConnell expressed that he found it "extremely irritating" that Congress has earned a reputation for accomplishing little.
He also noted his personal vexation at what he sees as Trump's disconnect in declaring legislative victories that may not match the realities of the legislative process.
Specifically, when Trump stated Congress was in the "final stages" of its Obamacare repeal bill and declared it would be ready for "submitting" in March. The House did not actually vote on the measure until May with votes finally reaching the Senate in late July.
"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," McConnell added. "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."
The Senate majority leader cautioned the audience against prematurely judging this Congress and urged them to evaluate their performance "when it finishes," adding former President Obama did not enact his signature entitlement program, Obamacare, until a year after taking office.