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The Congressional Apprentice

How Trump Is Approaching Capitol Hill

The House always wins? Trump addressing a joint session of Congress, February 2017 Jim Bourg / Reuters

Within 100 days of his inauguration as U.S. president, Donald Trump had concluded that the U.S. legislative process is “a very tough system.” He is hardly the first occupant of the Oval Office to arrive at that judgment. Every new president finds interaction with Congress more difficult than expected. But what is challenging for any president was bound to be even more so for Trump—especially given the political climate in the United States today. 

Trump ascended to the highest office in the land with no previous political experience, few settled policy views, and a combative style that had created enemies in quarters not usual for political leaders. With transactional instincts honed by decades in the business world, Trump has an approach that is characterized by speed and finality—hardly the hallmarks of the U.S. Congress. Instead of one place or person for a president to work with,

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