Domenica, 24 Settembre, 2017

McConnell casts doubt on prospects for bipartisan tax overhaul

Senator Orrin Hatch, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee is seen during an interview on Capitol Hill in Washington DC Senior GOP senators serve notice: No action on healthcare at this point
Pamela Guccione | 05 Agosto, 2017, 14:47

A top Senate Republican says getting rid of filibusters like President Donald Trump wants is "not a realistic suggestion" because there aren't enough votes to do that.

Last week, Trump tweeted that if the Senate didn't approve health care legislation, "BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies" would end "very soon!" It's partly a reaction to Trump's success a year ago in Rust Belt states and elsewhere where his tough talk on trade and claims that American workers have gotten a raw deal appealed strongly to voters.

Even Republicans themselves are divided over whether and how tax reform should be "paid for".

Still looming are must-do items, such as raising the nation's borrowing authority and funding the government by September 30.

The debt limit increase is particularly nettlesome and many Republicans in Congress simply can't bring themselves to vote for it. Failing to raise the ceiling could spark a global financial crisis, leading to a stock market crash, a spike in interest rates and a potential economic recession. In this Tuesday, July 25, 2017, photo, Sen.

Two must-do items will dominate the agenda: increasing the government's debt limit to prevent a catastrophic default on US obligations like interest payments and Social Security checks; and passing a temporary spending bill to keep government agencies up and running.

Republican leaders face several challenges as they seek to avert a government shutdown or default. And one of them isn't even around this week to be persuaded to change his mind.

The White House is demanding an aggressive schedule.

"We don't know where the White House is because they have different factions saying different things", Schumer told reporters when asked if the White House had articulated clear goals.

They also are insisting that Republicans return to "regular order" and not attempt to push a tax bill through Congress using budget reconciliation rules that require only a simple majority in the Senate.


But, the prospect of a bipartisan bill this time fizzled quickly earlier this week.

In Tuesday floor remarks, Schumer said that tax reform should focus on increasing "wages for working families, improving middle class job growth, promoting domestic investment while modernizing our outdated business and global tax system".

White House legislative director Marc Short said Monday that he wanted everything to be wrapped up by November.

"It's time to move onto something else, come back to health care when we've had more time to get beyond the moment we're in", said Sen.

Vice President Mike Pence, who remains close with many conservative members of Congress has often had to act as an intermediary between the president and the Republican establishment, evident most recently in his efforts lobbying members in both the House and Senate on health care.

Democrats have been slow-walking Trump's nominees for months because of the fight over the GOP effort to repeal ObamaCare, but pledged that they would be more cooperative once that legislation failed.

On Tuesday, 45 Senate Democrats issued a letter to Senate Republicans, outlining the three basic priorities a tax reform package must meet to garner their support.

Mulvaney has "got a big job, he ought to do that job and let us do our jobs", Cornyn said.

Separately, lawmakers must vote to reauthorize a health insurance program for children from low-income families, as well as the federal flood insurance program. "Focus on like a laser on trying to rally the Congress, working with governors of both parties to come up with a new way to deliver health care".

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