Here comes the legislative bum’s rush once again.
Just as congressional Republicans sought to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act all by themselves, they’re trying the same thing with what they’re calling “tax reform.”
Except that it doesn’t “reform” anything. It cuts taxes for the wealthiest Americans and, according to at least one prominent study, will increase taxes for middle-income Americans.
The House of Representatives zoomed this tax cut through that chamber with a narrow vote. Now it goes to the Senate. And you know what? It’s running into trouble.
GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin opposes it because it does too little for small business. GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine opposes it as well because it cuts out the individual mandate required by the ACA. That’s two “no” votes. The tax plan is officially on the bubble.
I believe I’ll now mention what it does to the deficit. It explodes the deficit and for those of us deficit hawks, it piles on more money to the national debt, which Republicans are fond of saying increased during President Barack Obama’s two terms in office.
I keep circling back to this notion that no single party can do anything constructive without the other party. Republicans haven’t yet learned that lesson now that they control the White House in addition to both congressional chambers.
This star-chamber style of legislating — with major bills being discussed in private by members of one party — is harmful to legislative process and to the principle of effective governance.
As GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona has implored his colleagues, “Let’s return to ‘regular order.'” That means, among other things, bringing the other party into the discussion.