Trump faces a pivotal week as he addresses jittery GOP lawmakers

President Trump’s speech Tuesday to a joint session of Congress comes as fellow Republicans are returning to Washington after raucous town hall meetings where they’ve faced crowds angered by the lack of a coherent plan to replace the Affordable Care Act after its promised repeal.

The new president is under growing pressure from his own party to offer specifics on that front as well as on his pledge to provide sweeping tax reform — another issue on which promises of bold action are threatened by divisions among Republicans and a lack of clear direction from Trump.

Trump’s prime-time address Tuesday will have ramifications far beyond Capitol Hill: It offers a president with sagging job­approval numbers an opportunity to recast his agenda for the American people and to change the focus of news coverage that has been dominated in recent days by stories about his campaign’s contacts with Russia…

“On many of these issues, President Trump will be the referee; he’ll be the tiebreaker,” said Rep. Luke Messer (Ind.), the House Republican Conference’s policy chairman. “I do think the sooner he makes clear his preferences the better, because it will help us work through these policy debates within our own party. My guess is some of that will start [Tuesday] night.”