Economy

Tight Race for Chaffetz’s Utah Seat Due to Outside Spending
Three GOP candidates face off in Tuesday’s primary

Former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz vacated his House seat in June, triggering a special election in the 3rd District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican primary to fill former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s seat has tightened in the final days before the Tuesday election, thanks to buckets of outside money being poured into the race.

The primary is “certainly not a race [where] I would want to bet the farm on who was going to win,” veteran Utah GOP consultant Dave Hansen said.

Lobbyists Push GOP to Repeal Obamacare Fees in Tax Overhaul
Trade group is launching digital ad buys in key states

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, seen here with Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow wants to look at a possible repeal of the 2010 health care law's taxes as part of a larger tax package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Republican effort to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law may have stalled, but lobbyists are pushing the GOP to continue to target the provisions the industry most despises: the law’s taxes.

House and Senate Republicans hope to push forward on a tax overhaul when Congress returns in September, an item they previously delayed in favor of health care. Repealing the 2010 health care law and its corresponding taxes would have helped simplify the GOP’s upcoming work, but those hopes were deflated when the Senate did not pass a repeal bill last month.

Senate Republicans Face Key Tax Overhaul Decisions
Effort remains in nascent stages in the face of looming deadlines

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says the GOP debate over rewriting the tax code pits the establishment, who oppose proposals that would add to the deficit, against conservatives who would “rather see a tax cut.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans have not yet come to a consensus on several crucial decisions that must be made before any serious work begins on legislation to overhaul the U.S. tax code.

Complicating that effort are a number of pressing deadlines the chamber faces, including funding the government past the end of September, the upcoming debt ceiling, and a pending reauthorization of a popular children’s health insurance program. 

Opinion: GOP Tax Dilemma — Somebody’s Got to Pay More
There’s a reason tax reform doesn’t happen often

South Dakota Sen. John Thune believes that traditional budget scorekeeping underestimates the dynamic effects of tax cuts on the economy, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Any deduction you look at in the tax code has a constituency behind it,” John Thune said last week as we chatted about taxes in his Senate office. “If you are going to do tax reform that is revenue-neutral … that means that you have to kill some deductions or scale them back.”

Too often Republican oratory depicts tax reform as across-the-board rate reductions where everyone wins and nobody loses. It is like Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon — “where all the children are above average” — but a lot richer.

Enzi Plans September Budget Markup as McConnell Urges Speed

Chairman Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., takes his seat for the Senate Budget Committee to order for the hearing with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the President’s budget proposals on Tuesday, June 13, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi told Republicans Thursday he intends to mark up a fiscal 2018 budget resolution in September.

In addition, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., met with Republicans on the Budget Committee late Thursday morning and charged them with producing a budget resolution after the recess.

Obama Alumni Jump Into Congressional Races Across the Country
Many motivated by Trump’s election and desire to move ex-boss’ policies forward

Democrat Sam Jammal is challenging California Rep. Ed Royce in the 39th District. (Sam Jammal for Congress Facebook page)

Alumni of the Obama administration are heeding their former boss’ call to get in the game themselves and run for office in response the election of President Donald Trump and to continue what the former president started.

Sam Jammal, an Obama appointee in the Commerce Department who is running in California’s 39th District against Republican Rep. Ed Royce, said he was heeding those words.

Analysis: Health Care Failure to Haunt Republicans Over Recess
Lawmakers call relationship with White House a ‘work in progress’

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leaves the Capitol on Thursday after the last votes in the Senate before the August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans departed on Thursday for a 32-day recess with key victories overshadowed by a momentous defeat on their effort to overhaul the 2010 health care law.

Lawmakers left Capitol Hill for the extended break after several months of tumult, much of which stemmed from a nascent Trump administration fraught with self-inflicted scandals and lacking in traditional political experience.

Diane Black Will Need to Resign Budget Chairmanship or Seek Waiver
Tennessee Republican is running for governor

Tennessee Rep. Diane Black is running for governor and may have to give up her Budget Committee chairwomanship. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Diane Black may have to step down as Budget Committee chairwoman now that the Tennessee Republican is running for governor of her home state, but who will want to take the gavel of a panel whose primary work product has run into major roadblocks for two years in a row?

Black, the first woman to chair the Budget Committee, has only held the gavel for eight months. She replaced Tom Price, the Georgia Republican who was chairman for just two years before President Donald Trump tapped him to be his Health and Human Services secretary.

Trump Backs GOP Immigration Bill, but Rift Within Party Widens
Senate’s No. 2 Republican sees ‘opportunity’ for Congress amid WH ‘chaos’

Activists demonstrate in Washington against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies in May. On Wednesday, Trump threw his backing behind new immigration legislation by Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday waded into the politically choppy waters of immigration law alongside two fellow Republicans, but the brief image of party unity failed to completely obscure a growing rift with other GOP senators.

Trump hosted Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and and David Perdue of Georgia, a longtime ally, at the White House to discuss their legislation that would impose a skills-based criteria on individuals hoping to obtain U.S. citizenship. It was a moment of Republican comity after weeks of slowly increasing tensions between Trump and the Senate GOP conference.

House Republicans’ August Messaging Plan: Deflect and Pivot
Recess resource kits highlight bills House GOP passed, tax overhaul plans

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and House Republicans plan to spend August touting bills they’ve passed and their plans to overhaul the tax code. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans left Washington largely stumped about how to go home for a monthlong recess and defend to their constituents Congress’ failure to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. 

The concerns were so great that many members during a GOP conference meeting Friday — just hours after a Senate vote on a scaled-back repeal bill failed — pleaded with leadership to keep the House in session in August.