President Donald Trump plans to sign a bipartisan bill to combat the opioid crisis on Wednesday — a bill that passed the Senate by an overwhelming 98-to-1 margin and passed 396 to 14 in the House. But while Trump did not even know that the vote had been bipartisan, that did not stop his White House counselor from going on Fox & Friends to pretend that his leadership was the reason Democrats and Republicans came together on the bill.
“Incredible,” Kellyanne Conway said of the bill. “It passed 98 to 1 in the United States Senate the same week the Kavanaugh vote was happening. So think about that: the most hyper-partisan, divided week on Capitol Hill since we have gotten here, and yet this president’s leadership forged the most historic comprehensive single piece of legislation on any one drug crisis in our nation’s history,” she kvelled.
Opioid addiction is pretty unpopular with members of both political parties — addiction affects constituents across the country, unconfined to red or blue states. Indeed, both the 2016 Democratic and Republican party platforms explicitly called for action to combat the crisis. Of the 15 lawmakers who voted against the legislation in the House and Senate, 14 were from Trump’s own party.
Had Trump taken a break from his busy schedule of campaign rallies and golf outings to actually work with Congressional Democrats, he might know that 182 House Democrats and every Senate Democrat voted for the bill. Instead, he lied and told supporters at a rally earlier this month that the bill passed “with very little Democratic support.”
While Conway’s characterization of the legislation as “the most historic comprehensive single piece of legislation on any one drug crisis in our nation’s history” is probably Trumpian hyperbole, her suggestion that Trump’s leadership had anything to do with its strong support from members of both parties is pure fantasy.