The passage of a budget resolution for 2018 is the key to getting the Trump tax reforms passed, because it allows for a reconciliation process which cannot be filibustered by the minority party, which opposes tax reform.
After today’s passage in the Senate of the 2018 budget, President Trump had this to say:
President Donald J. Trump applauds the Senate for passing its FY 2018 Budget Resolution today and taking an important step in advancing the Administration’s pro-growth and pro-jobs legislative agenda. This resolution creates a pathway to unleash the potential of the American economy through tax reform and tax cuts, simplifying the overcomplicated tax code, providing financial relief for families across the country, and making American businesses globally competitive. President Trump looks forward to final enactment of the Fiscal Year 2018 budget resolution so we can bring jobs back to our country.
Unfortunately, the Republicans are prone to follow their own agendas, resulting in a lot of talk but not a lot of action. Every major effort by the Trump administration to fulfill his promises has been resisted or fumbled by the Republicans, with the exception of the Supreme Court nomination and some judges, but even here progress has been slow owing to an unwillingness to overcome procedural obstacles, Indeed, some of the opposition to the Trump agenda has been based on an appeal to “procedure” which some observers doubt is the real cause of the opposition.
In a Friday Twitter exchange with Senator Rand Paul, President Trump called the Senator out saying he supported tax reform, to which the Senator replied that he supported tax CUTS, possibly signalling he might not end up supporting the President’s plan. Such a move is likely to further infuriate the Trump base, which dominates the grassroots of the Party, and could even cause investors to claw back some of their recent investments in the stock market, which has risen to over 23,000.
While step one is to get a budget resolution passed, so they can layer in the tax reform through reconciliation, it also appears the Party is unable to come together and effectively govern, let alone let the President take the lead in delivering a reform that is highly favored by the Party rank and file.
It is now up to the House and Senate to work out a reconciliation, during which time the tax reform plan will be added. All eyes are on the usual suspects, including Olympia Snow, McCain, and Rand Paul, who, for their own reasons, are prone to resist the President’s agenda. Given an option between the Trump reform plan and having nothing pass, most conservatives will favor the Trump plan overwhelmingly. But will they be able to carry their own elected Senators and Representatives over the threshold?