According to the latest reports sourcing purely objective political actors with no ulterior motives, tax reform will be passing the House this week. That’s right: tax reform will be passing the House next week, and the Senate will follow suit by early December.
While the GOP’s original September deadline for producing a bill the president could sign elapsed with nothing to show for it, congressional Republicans now understand the mistake they made was thinking the House would pass a bill other, previous weeks that are not three weeks from now.
The stars are now in alignment. As long as Donald Trump doesn’t expose himself to a minor, or trigger the nuclear holocaust, or attempt to reinstitute slavery, or fire Robert Mueller, or punch a grieving war widow, or mistakenly tell the press he’s now a communist, tax reform is defunitedly happening by the first of June.
The House Freedom Caucus — the conservative group that sunk House Republicans’ Obamacare replacement last month — has officially endorsed a new compromise on the bill, delivering a fresh burst of momentum to the GOP’s efforts to do away with the Democratic health care law.
The group of three-dozen lawmakers said in a statement that an agreement negotiated by caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and centrist Tuesday Group co-Chairman Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) assuaged their previous concerns about the bill. The White House has been pressing Republicans to broker a compromise.
The Trump administration’s frantic finagling to pull off something, anything that they can point to as an accomplishment before Day 100 strikes again. Hence the similar push for comprehensive tax reform – another simple, stress-free operation that can be pulled off in days. Why didn’t anyone try it before? (The president’s basic understanding of the latter issue, at least, is not in doubt. He wants his family businesses and the one-percenters to fill the federal government’s coffers as little as is politically possible.)
The viability of either venture is far from assured. Gaining the House Freedom Caucus’ assent on health care may alienate centrists in the GOP, and while slashing taxes appears to be a surer thing with a Republican-controller Congress, never underestimate Trump’s unique proclivity for turning gold into shit.
Still – and this applies to his presidency as a whole – complacency should be avoided at all costs.