House Republicans are itching for a fight over tax cuts. Not with their usual foe, Nancy Pelosi and her united caucus. No, with Senate Republicans. It’s all about preemptively placing the blame for yet another massive failure to govern. When that happens, Speaker Paul Ryan and team say, it’s going to be the Senate’s fault.
“Donald Trump won with an electoral landside and his three big campaign points were ObamaCare repeal, tax reform and border security. For a handful of senators to derail that agenda is very frustrating,” said Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas).
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who is close to the House GOP leadership, says colleagues are frustrated with a handful of senators “overruling the will of the entire House.”
“We do need to see them step up and actually deliver for a change. We have over 200 bills sitting stalled over there. They haven’t been able to deliver on [health care] reform and they all ran on it and now we have a do-or-die moment on tax reform,” he said.
Ryan tried to quell the fear at a half-day private retreat the House held to talk about tax cuts for the rich, while they were ignoring the expiration of the Children’s Health Insurance Program’s funding authorization. In an appearance on CNBC, he said that it was different this time from the rolling disaster that was Trumpcare because “we spent the last four months basically working together, the Senate Finance Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee and the White House, making sure that we’re on the same page.”
But he was also quick to point out that he and his maniacs are not happy, and ultimately, it’s all Mitch McConnell’s fault. “We’re really frustrated,” he said. “Look, we passed 373 bills here in the House—270-some are still in the Senate.” Never mind that a big chunk of those are things like renaming post offices and issuing commemorative coins. Or that they are just crazy ass political statements intended as nothing more than press releases to show the base they’re doing the kind of crazy ass stuff expected of them.
Throw Trump into the mix, and the fall isn’t going to be any more fun for McConnell than his spring or summer. Meanwhile, don’t expect much in the way of actual governing. That takes a back seat.