This is kind of a big deal, gang:
“Republican leaders are considering skipping passage of a GOP budget this year — a blow to the party’s weakened fiscal hawks that would squash all 2018 efforts to revamp entitlements or repeal Obamacare. …”
But more importantly, it would mean the GOP’s 2018 agenda would be sharply limited: Only with passage of a joint House-Senate budget can Republicans deploy reconciliation tools, which allow them to circumvent the Senate filibuster and bypass Democrats, as they did on last year’s successful tax bill and failed Obamacare repeal push.
That means no entitlement reform or welfare overhaul in 2018, a key priority for fiscal conservatives eager to shrink the now $20 trillion federal debt. Instead, President Donald Trump wants to focus on enacting a massive infrastructure package with help from Democrats. And conservatives are not happy about it. …”
Look at it this way: the GOP was able to spend all of 2017 on Obamacare and the tax cuts ONLY BECAUSE it was using budget reconciliation. Without budget reconciliation or repealing the filibuster, the GOP needs 60 votes to pass anything of significance in the Senate.
Mitch McConnell’s argument for skipping on budget reconciliation is that there are only 51 Republican senators. Keep in mind he went absolutely out of his way to destroy Roy Moore. Now that he has succeeded in shrinking his Senate majority, McConnell is saying the GOP can only do “bipartisan” items this year like an infrastructure bill and DACA amnesty.
Having squandered 2017, McConnell is basically admitting here that he is prepared to squander 2018 as well, which ironically might be a good thing because the GOP plan was to use legislative power to double down on even more unpopular #TrueCons items like entitlement reform. It just goes to show that even when you give the GOP power it will only use to do unpopular stuff voters hate.