President Donald Trump is meeting with both sides of the Senate today in a bid to ensure that his flagship Tax Reform Bill is passed before Christmas. Trump is desperate for a win. As reported by CNN, the Tax Reform Bill is Trump’s only chance to actually pass a major piece of law during his first year in office. During the election campaign, Donald Trump promised the American people an endless victory parade celebrating groundbreaking legislation that would change the country for the better.
As President, and with a majority in both Houses, Trump has instead faced an endless round of defeats. Trump’s attempts to repeal “Obamacare,” his proposed travel bans on people from certain Muslim-majority countries, his policy on “Dreamers,” and his ban on transgender people serving in the military have all failed, either in the House or in the courts. Trump hasn’t been able to pass a budget, and as reported by the Chicago Tribune, we could soon see a federal “shutdown.”
Against that background, President Trump is desperate for a legislative victory that would appease his increasingly nervous supporters. One would assume, that with a majority in both Houses, passing Trump’s tax reform plan would be a formality. Unfortunately for Trump, that isn’t the case.
As reported by the Washington Post, Trump has a 52-48 majority in the Senate. This means that Trump can afford to have two Republican Senators vote against the Tax Reform Bill and still pass it. Trump’s problem is that two Republicans have already indicated that they will vote against the bill. Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Steve Daines of Montana have indicated that they cannot vote for the bill as it stands.
This leaves president Trump relying on the votes of three men that he has publicly humiliated in his Twitter tirades. Senators John McCain, Bob Corker, and Jeff Flake have all been attacked by Trump at various times since Trump took office. Trump will be hoping that those three will not take their revenge by voting down his Tax Reform Bill.
According to CNN, President Trump’s problems with the Tax Reform Bill don’t end there. They claim that Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, Susan Collins of Maine, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Marco Rubio of Florida all have deep concerns about aspects of the Tax Reform Bill.
If those reports are accurate, Trump could have up to 10 Republican Senators voting against the Tax Reform Bill. If that proved to be the case, the Trump administration would face another embarrassing defeat, and President Trump would have failed to pass any significant legislation in his first year in office.
[Featured Image by Susan Walsh/AP Images]