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The GOP Spending Feud that Could Tank Tax Reform


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Republicans are desperate for a major legislative victory by the end of the year, and many hope that victory will be tax reform. But in order to begin talks on tax relief, the Senate must pass a budget resolution first.
The budget resolution is expected to pass by the end of this week, but not all GOP Senators currently support the plan.    
Senators Rand Paul, R-KY, and Lindsey Graham, R-SC, are publicly feuding on Twitter over their disagreements on the spending bill.
Paul told CBN News that some Republicans want to spend more than the government is allowed.
"Really the people tanking the budget deal are Senators McCain and Graham by insisting that we spend more money than is available by exceeding the spending caps," said Senator Paul.
Graham fired back on Twitter, saying if Paul votes "no" on the budget resolution this week after opposing Graham's recent health care bill, he will be the Democratic Party's MVP of 2017.

The 2018 budget resolution needs to pass the Senate in order for Republicans to move ahead on a tax reform bill. Paul says he strongly favors tax cuts, but he thinks they have to be accompanied by cutbacks in government spending.
"Let's not spend so much money in the budget, let's actually put forward a budget that doesn't exceed our self-imposed caps," said Paul. "The problem is we have people in our own party who are insistent that spending exceed the budget caps, that's where the real problem is."
Sen. John Thune, R-SD, chair of the Senate Republican conference, told CBN News he thinks the budget will pass with or without Paul's support. But if it fails to clear the Senate, Congress may not be able to get a tax measure through by the end of this year.
"We want to have a bill on the President's desk by the end of the year, that's the goal, and I hope we can keep that," says Thune.
Many in the GOP believe they cannot afford missing an opportunity to pass a tax bill after failing to fulfill one of their long-time campaign promises of repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Senators Lamar Alexander, R-TN, and Patty Murray, D-WA,  introduced a bipartisan bill this week to help temporarily stabilize health insurance markets, but Thune says at the moment, that plan is stalled out.
"The president has said that he's opposed to it in its current form and I think Senator Alexander is trying to work with the administration to fix it in a way that meets the president's objections and hopefully gets it to a path where it can move forward, but at the moment that's kind of on hold," says Thune.
"I want to make sure if there's flexibility for the states that it's real, that it's meaningful, that it allows states to kind of design plans that work better for their populations instead of having a one size fits all from Washington DC."
Some Republican senators are worried that taking on health care again could be a distraction from their tax agenda, but Thune says both issues need to be dealt with.
"We’ve got an issue of health care that needs to be dealt with as well," Thune said. "We've got to be able to multi-task up here. Tax reform is really critical to our economy. If we want to get better paying jobs, higher wages in our economy, we've got to reform our outdated tax code."
The Senate budget resolution is expected to pass by the end of this week. Once the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee have a number for the budget, they can begin work on the tax plan.

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About The Author


Abigail Robertson serves as the congressional correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network. Since joining the CBN News Washington Bureau in 2015, she has had many notable assignments, such as covering the Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando, Florida, the Paris terror attacks, and the refugee crisis overseas in the Middle East and Europe. Abigail worked as the New Media Director for a victorious congressional campaign before she switched gears from working in politics to covering it. Over the past year, she has produced and reported from primary and presidential debates, the Republican