With the GOP failing to score a solid win on healthcare, Republicans now seem to be under increasing pressure to deliver a win on taxes for their party and the White House before the midterm elections.
Being two of the GOP’s top priorities at the beginning of the year, there were high expectations for success on ObamaCare repeal and tax reform, considering the fact that the party is in control of the House, Senate, and the White House.
With the Senate failing to pass the GOP’s healthcare legislation, the stakes seem to be even higher for the party on tax reform.
Tax reform is “now increasingly important to the economy, and increasingly important to Republicans’ political prospects in the future,” said Grover Norquist, President of the Americans for Tax Reform.
According to Norquist, GOP lawmakers, especially those up for reelection, need to deliver “spectacular” tax reforms, given the setback they received on healthcare.
He further explained that the GOP had made promises about how an Obamacare repeal and replace would boost economic growth, showing the true value of a Republican government. Hence, the GOP tax reform needs to give an even better upsurge to the economy.
On Tuesday, prominent Republicans also emphasized on the importance of tax reform that would augment economic growth.
“Important for Senate GOP to stay at table. #obamacare is collapsing. Regardless we are moving forward on bold #taxreform this year,” Kevin Brady (R-Texas) House Ways and Means Committee Chairman and the man in charge of the tax reform bill in the House, posted on Twitter on Tuesday.
Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) Senate Finance Committee Chairman, expressed concerns that the healthcare debacle could take up a lot of time lawmakers have for a tax reform effort. However, he said that he’s going to press the matter and push ahead.
“It’s always going to be difficult to do both,” Hatch said. “There’s nothing easy around here, and especially with the close numbers that we have.”
On the other hand, some are of the belief that the latest setback on healthcare could actually motivate lawmakers to get a win on taxes.
“I think probably it will make people even more determined to get tax reform,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said.
Former Finance Committee aide, Dean Zerbe, said he’s expecting a “more fervent effort” from the Republicans on tax reforms, following their failure on healthcare.
“People are going to be focused because they need a win on the board,” he said.
According to experts, a comprehensive tax reform bill will be very tough to draft if healthcare legislation isn’t ready.
For Congressional Republicans, it was important to get done and over with healthcare before they moved on to tax reform because they wanted to repeal certain ObamaCare taxes. Hence, if lawmakers plan on repealing any of the ObamaCare taxes as part of a tax reform, they’ll need to come up with something to pay for those tax cuts.