Voters want a Congress that stands up to Trump, but Rep. Knight won’t

Congressman Steve Knight

A new poll shows voters overwhelming want Congress to be a check on the Trump administration.

By an overwhelming margin, voters want Congress to act as a check against Trump. According to a new Washington Post/ABC poll, 60 percent of voters want Congress controlled by Democrats “to act as a check on Trump.”

The poll shows an 7-point jump from July, when 53 percent were in favor of Democrats acting as a check.

Yet Congressman Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) has supported the Trump agenda 99 percent of the time.

Most recently Knight’s blatant unwillingness to stand up to Trump was on full display in a secret recording obtained by the Washington Post, in which the congressman spoke to a group about Trump’s call to create a “space force” branch of the military.

Discussing an upcoming visit to California by Vice President Mike Pence, Knight said, “I am sure he’ll talk about this,” referring to the “space force” idea. “If I get to say anything around Vice President Pence I won’t say that I disagree with it, but I do.

So, not only do Knight’s votes align with the Trump agenda 99 percent of the time, but Knight can’t stand up to the administration one-on-one either. And he admits it.

In a conversation with the Post after the tape came out, Knight tried to walk back his comments, saying, “I think if the vice president asked me what my opinion is, I would tell him.”

Even in pushing back, Knight showed a tepid nature, saying, “I’m not going to go up to the vice president and tell him, but if he asks, sure.”

In other questions, the poll further reveals the alienating nature of Knight’s absolute devotion to the Trump agenda.

In an analysis, the Washington Post says the poll “suggests that the anti-Trump backlash we’ve seen throughout this cycle among suburban, college-educated and independent voters is running strong: According to the cross-tabs, college-educated whites want a Democratic-led Congress as a check on Trump by 62-34, and suburban voters want the same by 58-37. Independents want a check by 63-27.”

According to the California Secretary of State’s office, Knight’s district is dominated by Democrats and independents. As of May 2018, 38 percent of voters in the district are Democrats, 34 percent are Republican, and 23 percent are No Party Preference.

Since Trump came to power, Knight has sided with him on numerous issues. Knight voted to gut the popular Affordable Care Act (ACA) in an attempt to strip away protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. That effort failed to pass the Senate, but Knight nevertheless supported provisions in the unpopular Republican tax bill to help drive up health care premiums and make health insurance less affordable for millions of families.

Now the vulnerable two-term congressman is running as one of the most embattled incumbents in the country, facing a well-funded challenge from Democratic candidate Katie Hill.

If the midterm is a referendum on Congress’ ability to stand up to Trump, Knight has made no secret of where his values, and his votes, lie.