Rep. Dave Trott, R-Mich., said Thursday that Republicans are being forced to deal with Democratic demands — and even Democratic deals with President Trump — because Republicans don't have enough votes themselves to dictate federal policy.
Trott, who is retiring at the end of the current Congress, said even though Republican majorities, in theory, give them control of the House and Senate, the GOP is split, which is why Democrats are able to have a big impact.
"People that say, well Congress, why is it acting this way, and why can't the speaker stop this?" Trott said on MSNBC. "I have a little news flash for everyone. We don't have a governing majority in Congress."
"We don't have 218 reliable Republican votes in the House the speaker can count on, and we don't have 60 senators in the Senate," he said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said as much last week, when Trump decided to accept Democratic demands for a short-term extension on government spending and borrowing authority. Pelosi said the ability of Democrats to deliver votes for that plan is what made it appealing for Trump, while Republicans remain split on those big issues.
The same thing happened Wednesday night, when Trump appeared to agree with Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., that Congress should pass a bill protecting illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, in exchange for tougher border security measures that exclude Trump's border wall.
While Republicans have complained that Trump is dealing too much with Democrats, Trott said he welcomed the shift from Trump.
"I applaud the president," he said. "I've been critical of him in the past on a few issues, but this is exactly what the president should be doing."