Welcome back: Republicans return from recess to a field of legislative land mines


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When Republican lawmakers left for their July 4 recess, they had produced no major legislative wins in the six months since taking over the government. Upon return, their predicament is way worse. The AP writes:

The GOP campaign to repeal Democrat Barack Obama’s health care law is bogged down in the Senate and flirting with collapse. Efforts to pass a budget are stuck, there’s no tax code overhaul package, spending bills are in limbo and it’s unclear how leaders will find the votes to avert a federal default.

That August recess can’t come soon enough! Which is exactly what some Republicans fear and are now angling to skip so they’re not caught vacationing while they torpedo the nation’s debt rating and shut down the government.

Really, folks, the next few weeks of legislating (if we can call it that) will be a total wonder. Nearly every bill the GOP needs or

to pass prior to Sept. 30 depends on the bill before it, which makes each one successively less likely, if that’s even possible.

1. Health care repeal is indefinitely stalled

Sorry, Mitch, but that July 4 recess knocked the wind out of your clandestine, exclusively-male GOP effort to ply the rich with more money while killing off the poor.

2. Consensus still lagging on the 2018 budget

Some Republicans want to know the fate of the health care repeal bill before moving forward on the budget. Nonetheless, the House Budget Committee tried to put a budget blueprint together in June, but it fell apart, writes Jamie Dupree. 

One stumbling block has been how much to reduce the yearly growth in spending on programs like Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. […] The big problem here for the GOP is that if they cannot pass a budget resolution, then their plan to authorize a tax bill under the expedited rules of budget reconciliation will go nowhere.

No reconciliation means they’ll need to win over at least some Democrats in order to reach the 60-vote threshold.

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