Republicans eager to replicate their failed partisan strategy on health care for tax reform


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You know what they say: If your fatally flawed ill-advised strategy crashes and burns repeatedly, try, try again. Republicans, fresh off their epic healthcare defeat, are now taking the lessons they didn’t learn and throwing them straight out the window, writes Roll Call’s Lindsey McPherson:

House Republicans at least appear ready to take the same approach to overhauling the tax code.

“I feel like it’s our only option,” Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker said.

That means Republicans are working to set up a scenario through which “reconciliation” can be used to bypass needing any Democratic votes for passage of their tax overhaul. In other words, let’s kick off the tax reform effort by flipping Democrats the bird.

And right on cue, Republicans are now baffled that Democrats aren’t begging to be let in on the GOP’s one-party negotiation.

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said reconciliation gives Republicans a vehicle to get a tax overhaul

President Donald Trump’s desk.

“And by the way, it doesn’t preclude Democratic engagement and support to get there,” the Texas Republican said. “In fact, we continue to welcome those ideas and engagement, certainly here in the House.”

Bipartisan engagement doesn’t seem to be occurring, said Texas Rep. Kenny Marchant, a Ways and Means member.

“I don’t know of any Democrats that have come over and said, ‘Let’s do tax reform,’” he said.

That’s shocking, Kenny, after all the warm fuzzies you’ve been sending Democrats’ way.

Good luck, GOP. Forging an agreement that satisfies the tangle of Republican interests on tax reform is likely to be just as difficult, if not more so, than doing so on healthcare repeal.

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