In House, worries about Senate GOP and budget grow

In House, worries about Senate GOP and budget grow
© Greg Nash

House Republicans growing increasingly frustrated with the Senate are worried their budget could hit a snag in the upper chamber, where other House-passed legislation has become stuck in quicksand or completely fallen apart.

Republicans in the Senate can only afford two defections on the budget, which would unlock a process to prevent Democrats from filibustering a GOP tax-reform bill.

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“When you have a very slim majority, three or four senators over on that side control the destiny of tax reform, and in many cases that’s just unacceptable for the American people,” said Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), a member of the House Budget Committee.

“We’re hoping that the Senate now does their job and gets the budget passed as well,” he said.

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The frustrations are now bursting into the open.

“What I see with Republicans over there in the Senate is they are utterly incompetent. We have major pieces of legislation that would help this country,” said Rep. Diane BlackDiane Lynn BlackBudget chairman Womack eyes appropriations switch Black: Corker should ‘just sit back and be quiet’ GOP lawmaker, candidate for governor cancels NFL season tickets over protests MORE (R-Tenn.), the House Budget Committee chairwoman who is now running for governor of her state. “They still haven’t done anything with it.”

House frustrations with the Senate are nothing new.

The filibuster makes it more difficult to pass legislation in the Senate, as do other rules that slow the process.

“Everything is slower in the Senate. It’s like arguing against gravity,” said Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.). “It is what it is. Some of us would like things to move faster than they do, but in fairness to the institutions that the Founding Fathers set up, the Senate is a deliberative body, and they will always be deliberate.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said he has faith the Senate will not fumble on the budget.

“Let’s hope not, for goodness sake. Jeepers! Think about it, we haven’t repealed ObamaCare, we haven’t started construction on the border security wall, but we have increased spending around this place,” he said.

The odds are on the Senate passing the GOP budget.

Even some Senators who have raised concerns over tax reform, such as Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump to hold Nashville rally amid efforts to boost GOP Senate hopeful Kim Jong Un surprises with savvy power plays Tax reform postmortem reveals lethal dose of crony capitalism MORE (R-Tenn.), have committed to vote for the budget in order to allow the tax-reform process to move forward.

“We are full speed ahead,” said a Senate GOP source close to the budget process.

If the Senate does pass the budget, House and Senate negotiators will then need to come together to work out differences in the two resolutions before they can move ahead with tax reform.