Concern within the GOP about the Senate

Within a day of expressing a united front over the rollout of President Trump's tax plan, House Republicans are stating concerns to get the job done. Lawmakers are fearful of the bill facing the same failure like the Obamacare repeal, a major campaign promise of Trump. Other major promises were tax reform and border security. Commenting on growing frustration over failure due to a handful of Republicans, Rep. Tom Cole said they would step up for a change and start passing some of the 200 stalled bills. He felt it was a do-or-die moment on tax reform. House Republicans felt that the Senate brethren would also be under the same fire especially as many would like to see the House majority safe in 2018 but can still fall in jeopardy if health care fails. Despite the House flaunting a bigger Republican majority, the Senate GOP 2018 looks more favorable on the political map.

All that Republicans need to do is defend nine seats next year and Sen. Dean Heller's seat in Clinton's victorious state. Democrats need to defend over 20 seats including 10 in Trump's victorious states. The House Republicans have seats from 23 districts of Clinton's, a little less than what Democrats require to win back majority.

A half day review retreat on Wednesday by Republicans indicated enthusiastic support on tax reform with a proposal the like elimination of estate tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax was well received. However, Rep. Bruce Poliquin's call to count the votes changed the mood quickly to somber. No comments were made on it. Rep. Steve King stated that plenty of the senators wanted to exert independence by introducing their own tax reform bills. House Republicans feared that like in Obamacare, senators like Susan Collins (Maine), John McCain (Arizona) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) might buck the leadership again by voting against the bill.

Earlier this year, Farenthold had jokingly challenged Collins for a duel in an illustration of the frustration House Republicans over Senate hold-outs but had later apologized. McCain felt that the healthcare bill was doomed from the start since such a huge reform issue cannot be tackled on a partisan basis but needs bipartisan support. Speaker Paul Ryan is more optimistic of Senate Republicans on tax reforms since the tax reform framework has already been negotiated by McConnell and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch with the administration and House leaders. He stated that they took a different path by working united for the last four months with the Senate Finance Committee, the House Ways, Means Committee and the White House to ensure all remain on the same page. He stated that all leaders are working hard ahead of the rollout. Simultaneously, he acknowledged he had run-out patience with the House Republicans with the Senate post collapses of health care reform this week as against 373 House approved bills, over 270 are still pending with the Senate. Thus doubts are high over tax bill as well.

Speaking to reporters, Thursday afternoon, the head of the Senate's tax writing panel, Hatch said that he would like to keep deduction for state and local taxes intact against administration's wish to eliminate it to churn revenues for lower rates. A spokeswoman stated that Hatch knew the importance of every major provision within the tax code on the constituency and its consequence.

October 21, 2017 - 13:39
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