Trump criticizes GOP on health care, piles on pressure for tax reform

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President Donald Trump is putting the pressure on the Republican Party to pass at least one of his major legislative goals before year’s end: tax reform.

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Trump fired off his tax reform tweet after he criticized the GOP for failing to repeal and/or replace ObamaCare earlier this year, after having had years to come up with a cohesive alternative.

On Thursday, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) announced that they will introduce a brand new bill to replace the Affordable Care Act next week. Cassidy claims the legislation has the full support of the White House, according to Reuters.

Despite Trump’s tweet, Republicans have been using the fast-track process known as reconciliation to try to pass health care reform. They have instructions to do so under the 2017 budget, which will expire at the end of September. Until then, lawmakers can act on health care without the threat of a filibuster from Democrats.

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When Congress passes the 2018 budget, it is expected they will shift the reconciliation mandate to tax reform, thereby losing their directive to fast-track health care. Lawmakers must pass a new budget before the onset of the fiscal year on October 1.

Trump’s policy comments come after he struck a deal with Democrats earlier this week on aid for Hurricane Harvey tied to a 3 month debt limit increase. Trump also said on Wednesday he spoke with Democratic leaders about eliminating the debt ceiling debate altogether, something House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he is opposed to.

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