With his highly successful visit to Europe now firmly put to bed, President Donald Trump is now turning his attention back to domestic issues by taking aim at the foot dragging in the U.S. Senate over tax cuts and the repeal of Obamacare.
At about 9AM on Tuesday, the president jumped to Twitter to rally the troops for his domestic agenda.
“The U.S. Senate should switch to 51 votes, immediately, and get Healthcare and TAX CUTS approved, fast and easy. Dems would do it, no doubt!” Trump tweeted on May 30.
The U.S. Senate should switch to 51 votes, immediately, and get Healthcare and TAX CUTS approved, fast and easy. Dems would do it, no doubt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2017
This isn’t the first time the President has called for the end of the 60-vote threshold to stop debate on legislation. With the GOP only holding a bare majority of 52 seats in the upper chamber, the 60-vote threshold has been a major impediment for his agenda.
The Democrat Party has been using the filibuster to block a lot of the president’s agenda because with the 60-vote ceiling, Republicans need eight Democrats to come to their side to push things through and getting that many Democrats for anything has proven a tough sell, the Washington Examiner reminds us.
The GOP has already used the “nuclear option” once to confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch as Trump’s first Supreme Court pick.
Once invoked, the nuclear option ended the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court picks, but it could also be invoked in other areas of debate.
By the way, the Democrats used the same tactic during Barack Obama’s presidency, so if it happened again in the age of Trump there isn’t anything “new” to the maneuver.
Trump is exactly right that the nuclear option may well be needed to repeal Obamacare. To date it appears that a repeal vote only has 51 votes. Two Republicans have already signaled that they aren’t ready to vote yes.
Senators Susan Collins (R, ME) and Bill Cassidy (R, LA) have already said they aren’t prepared to vote for the House version of the AHCA healthcare bill.
The Senate is now trying to craft its own version of the bill, but so far it isn’t known what form that bill will take.
As to a tax bill, the president hasn’t presented his version of what he wants yet. But it should be noted that when Ronald Reagan came to office in 1980 it only took about six months to get his massive tax bill written, introduced and passed into law.
But today, there is a long list of tax bills floating around Congress with no agreement on which one should be put forward as the one party leaders want to back.
Tax cuts and a repeal of Obamacare were two of the key measures that Republicans — including the president — ran on in 2016. But it sure doesn’t appear that there is going to be any headway made on either issue any time soon.