When the House passed a preliminary tax reform bill earlier this month the Republican Senate leadership moved quickly to slow the process. The effort has been led (again) by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The primary motivation for the delay isn’t coming from a desire for more time to further review the steps toward eventual tax reform passage but rather to muddy the waters and ultimately ensure it is as weak and ineffectual bill that will provide as little political momentum for President Trump.
That is how deep the dislike for Mr. Trump goes among some of DC’s most powerful political elite.
“He (McConnell) has no intention of seeing a potentially successful tax bill sent to the President’s desk. If something does come out of all this it will be very weak tea – nothing more.”
That is the word from a source who remains close to the ongoing tax bill deliberations.
What McConnell is doing with the tax reform debate has recent precedence – namely what became the disastrous attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare. If that repeal had been successful it would have given POTUS Trump a significant political victory. McConnell and others within the GOP worked to ensure no such victory would happen – the needs of the American people be damned. They are now drawing from the very same playbook to halt needed tax reform.
Just this week McConnell told the New York Times he couldn’t promise some Middle Class Americans wouldn’t see their taxes increase under the current proposed changes to the tax code. Those remarks set off a near-instant behind-closed-doors firestorm among Republicans outraged that Mr. McConnell would be so willing to give Democrats and the media ammunition against those actually pushing for real and needed tax reform.
And just today this same Senate Republican leadership indicated it wanted to eliminate corporate tax rate deductions in the bill altogether with a half-hearted promise to revisit the issue next year. This was a direct jab at the Trump White House which has made a reduction in the corporate tax rate a centerpiece of the changes. POTUS Trump is said to be fuming at McConnell’s willingness to play games with a process that would, if done with their interest in mind, benefit millions of struggling American families and businesses.
McConnell doesn’t appear worried. He defeated the President’s desire to repeal and replace Obamacare and likely feels just as confident he’ll defeat the President again on tax reform.
In the meantime, all of America except for the special-interest elites who fund much of Washington D.C., will suffer.