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Gingrich Says Left in a ‘War with Trump,’ Congress Must Act

Former House speaker called out Democrat Chuck Schumer for 'methodically' weakening the government — and more

“The Left hates Trump … The fact is, the Left is in a permanent war with Trump,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Thursday morning on “The Laura Ingraham Show,” as he reflected on the non-stop bashing of President Donald Trump that has occurred this week during the memorials, eulogies and remembrances for former President George H.W. Bush.

He said it’s been “fascinating” this week to watch the liberal media say how much they adored former President Bush during his time in office — just as they “adored” former President Ronald Reagan during his White House terms after he passed away.

In both cases, of course, this was not the case at all when the two men were in office.

“And [the Left] is probably right in the sense that he [Trump] is calmly and methodically dismantling their world … That’s part of the depth of this hostility [against Trump],” he added, “but it does show up everywhere, all the time.”

He also gave his advice on Thursday for what lawmakers should focus on in the lame-duck Congress over the next two years.

Control will split in a matter of weeks after the Christmas break, when a new Congress comes into session.

“What advice would you give [House Speaker Paul] Ryan and company?” said host Ingraham.

“I think they should be prepared if necessary to stay all the way up to the night before they constitutionally leave office,” Gingrich told host Laura Ingraham on Thursday.

“I don’t think there is an official deadline for leaving town. I think on the Senate side, this is a moment for [Mitch] McConnell to take the toughness he’s used on judges, where he’s been brilliant, and apply it to all the other nominees, which [Sen. Chuck] Schumer [of New York] has been methodically weakening the government by blocking.”

The 116th U.S. Congress will begin shortly after lawmakers return from the Christmas break on Jan. 3, 2019.

The midterm elections of November 2018 resulted in congressional control splitting between the Republicans and the Democrats. The GOP was able to keep its Senate majority — while Democrats regained control of the House.

Gingrich served as speaker back when former President Bill Clinton was in office between 1995 and 1999. But he noted that the efforts to block Trump’s nominees has been the biggest undermining of the executive branch he has ever seen.

He specifically pointed to Schumer (D-N.Y.) as leading the obstructionism.

Related: Senate Sends Short-Term Spending Bill to Trump to Avoid Shutdown

“This is truly the deepest undermining of the American executive branch in my lifetime — is watching the Democrats block the nominations of all these people who should be running the [various federal] departments,” Gingrich said.

“We still have a huge layer of Obama appointees who are in office because the Democrats have put so much pressure against nominations — and the Republicans have caved in. They should adopt a policy that, ‘We’ll be here every single day until we get all these things approved.'”

Congress also has to deal with funding the government during the lame-duck session. The House and Senate on Thursday passed a short-term spending bill to keep the government funded for another two weeks. The bill gives lawmakers time to sort out the remaining spending bills by pushing back a government shutdown deadline that was set for Friday.

“They have to get through with a budget agreement that does fund the [border] wall,” Gingrich also said, before the House and Senate action occurred on Thursday. “I don’t think the president can turn his back on everything he has said for the past three years and walk on. And that’s a choice they should force Schumer to make. If Schumer wants to close the government, let him live with that. But I think the president is right to say he’s going to insist on a final spending bill that funds the wall. And I think in all probability, if they’re firm enough, they’ll get it.”

Congress was able to fund the bulk of the government already by passing two minibus packages. But the remaining seven spending bills still need to be passed with funding for the border wall becoming a major sticking point.

President Donald Trump is pushing for $5 billion to fund his border wall and has threatened to veto spending bills that don’t include it.

Related: Trump on Criminal Justice Reform: ‘It Has Tremendous Support No Matter Where We Go’

“There are several bills that the House is prepared to pass and that they should keep pushing on,” Gingrich also said to Ingraham. “I’m personally, because of over 20 years involvement, deeply in favor of criminal justice reform, which I’ve seen work in Georgia and in Texas, and in a number of states. There’s a bill hung up in the Senate that ought to come out and get passed, and there is no reason not to pass it. So, there is a number of things like that, which ought to be done … And finally, I think they should make one more run at making the tax cuts permanent.”

Regarding criminal justice reform, the First Step Act is aimed at reforming the criminal justice system in a way that helps inmates leave jail and their criminal lives behind.

The bill amends the federal criminal code to establish a system focused on rehabilitating inmates by incentivizing them to partake in programs aimed at helping them re-enter society.

Regarding the current standoff between U.S. and China right now and the affect on the financial markets, Gingrich also said Thursday, “Markets go up and down. Nobody should invest in the markets who doesn’t know that they occasionally go down … The president’s [going] in the right direction [on China] … We cannot continue doing what we’re doing unless we want China to be the dominant country on the planet [and define America’s role in the world].”

Trump has been dissatisfied with existing international trade agreements in general, but has paid particular attention to China. His administration has imposed multiple tariffs on the country this year; the latest is a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of imported goods. China was already hit with $50 billion worth of tariffs earlier this year.

The United States and China took a step back from their escalating trade war by announcing a 90-day pause on Sunday; Trump agreed to delay a scheduled tariff increase.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump negotiated that agreement during a discussion at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

Regarding China’s cheating on trade, its theft of intellectual property and more, Gingrich added, “They routinely cheat because they don’t think it’s cheating. We have to learn to be as tough and as persistent as they are. And that’s going to take some really jarring changes. I’m hoping the president will calmly stick to [what he’s been doing on China].”

“We’re up against a real opponent,” he also said — noting the struggle with China could last 10 or 15 or even 20 years.

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Connor D. Wolf covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at [email protected].