Will midterms stifle Republican goals?


With elections looming over 2018, will Republicans be able to achieve any long-term party goals?

The only major legislative achievement during Trump’s first year in office with a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, was the largest tax overhaul in 30 years, passed just before Christmas. Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir and Alyona Minkovski were joined by Noah Rothman, associate editor for Commentary magazine, to discuss the prospects for entitlement reform. “Mitch McConnell as much as said, you don’t try to pull that off in an election year when they already are maybe, maybe not, in trouble with voters around the tax bill,” O’Hehir said.

The 1.5 trillion dollar tax bill widely benefits corporations and the wealthy, in addition to adding to the deficit. Many observers have pointed out that Republicans, who usually claim to be deficit hawks, will push to make up for the lost revenue by targeting social programs next.

“It’s always difficult to cut non-discretionary spending, but when you call it “per capita block grants to states” through just Medicaid, which is definitely on the table, then maybe it’s something they can get away with, and maybe it’s something they can find bipartisan support for,” Rothman said. Much of the political success and failure around legislation depends on the way it’s messaged and sold to the public.

For more about legislative priorities and probabilities, watch the video above. And to hear more about political predictions for 2018, including foreign policy, activism and an expected blue swing in Congress, watch the full conversation .

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