Republicans Need a Victory
If they can’t pass tax reform, they may not hold Congress—and that could lead to impeachment.
President Trump told House Republicans Sunday that not passing tax reform could come back to bite them in next year’s midterm elections, and he’s probably right about that. Without a significant legislative victory to show for their majorities in Congress, Republicans could find themselves back in the minority.
Last fall, Republicans campaigned and fundraised on repealing ObamaCare and cutting taxes. So far, they’ve done neither. Pro-growth tax reform, particularly of the corporate variety under consideration, will help increase hiring and wages. But tax reform also has become something of a political imperative for Republicans in Washington, who to date have shown that they are better at winning elections than at governing.
Mr. Trump has a core of supporters for whom legislative victories seem secondary; the president’s combative showmanship matters more to them. His approval rating was 37% on Election Day and peaked at 46% way back in February. But voters may hold Congress to a different standard. While Mr. Trump can trade accusations with professional athletes and widows of fallen soldiers, Republicans in the House and Senate are expected to pass legislation and fulfill campaign pledges. Moreover, they’ll be on the ballot next year, not Mr. Trump.
Jason L. Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, and a Fox News commentator.
This piece originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal