“We’re certainly looking for the president to put the full force and power into helping put through a good tax reform bill,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
Pushing tax reform through the House of Representatives is expected to be simple in comparison to the Senate where the GOP holds only a 2-seat majority and outspoken critics of the president, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Bob Corker (R-TN), could spell trouble. If more than two senators fail to vote for the tax reform bill, it is likely to fail.
Senate Republicans, specifically McCain, were responsible for upending the Congressional effort to repeal or replace Obamacare. Now, working families that vote are watching to see if the Senate can get anything done.
“Tax reform is a must-win for two reasons,” President of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist said in an article last month. “First, to kick-start strong economic growth and job creation. Second, to demonstrate that President Trump and the Republicans in Congress can ‘get things done.'”
Passing tax reform could either slow or fuel an anti-establishment fire being fanned by Breitbart executive and former White House advisor Steve Bannon.
“If people see us delivering on health care and taxes . . . all of our guys and gals are going to win,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said. “But if we go into 2018 saying, ‘well, we just don’t have enough Republicans,’ Bannon will beat ‘em all or come close to beating ‘em.”
The President’s meeting today comes on the heels of a conference call with GOP Senators ahead of the last week’s budget passage and an indication of his deep involvement with the tax reform effort. Monday he took to Twitter to let House Republicans know that middle-class retirement tools would be off limits.
“There will be NO change to your 401(k),” Trump tweeted. “This has always been a great and popular middle class tax break that works, and it stays!”
In response to Trump’s tweet, Senator Corker went on television Tuesday morning to say that the president should stay out of the Congressional debate indicating that the Senator may be behind the Republican proposal to cut the amount working families can contribute to retirement benefits.
McCain wants a bipartisan approach to tax reform, the same strategy that lead to the death of Obamacare repeal. Democrats are focused on denying Trump and Republicans any significant wins ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections.