'We have way too many wingnuts in Washington,' says ex-fiscal watchdog under Clinton and Bush 43
- "We have too many far rights in the Republican Party, too many left in the Democratic Party," David Walker tells CNBC.
- But President Donald Trump has an opportunity to change that, he adds.
- Walker said the president has to be more effective and he needs to follow Ronald Reagan.
There is no one in charge in Congress but President Donald Trump has an opportunity to lead, former Government Accountability Office head David Walker told CNBC on Friday.
"The truth is we have way too many wingnuts in Washington," said Walker, who was head of the GAO under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
"We have too many far rights in the Republican Party, too many left in the Democratic Party. There's nobody in charge of the Congress. There's somebody in charge of factions, called Democrats and Republicans, but nobody is in charge of the body as a whole," Walker added on "Squawk Box."
Walker spoke after the Senate blocked the latest Republican attempt to repeal Obamacare in a dramatic floor vote early Friday morning. It came after separate pushes to immediately replace the Affordable Care Act or repeal it with a two-year transition period failed amid GOP divisions.
Trump tweeted on Friday that "3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down" and said Congress should let Obamacare "implode."
Walker said Trump should take pointers from former President Ronald Reagan on how to handle the situation.
"The president has an opportunity to lead. The president has to be more effective. And he needs to follow Ronald Reagan. What Reagan did, he went directly to the people with regards to the facts, the tough choices," Walker said.
"He rallied the people to put pressure on the Congress, then negotiated on a bipartisan basis behind the scenes to get something done," he said.
Walker added he's not optimistic Congress will get something done this year but said the best bipartisan legislation is infrastructure. That could bring the parties together on tax reform, he said.