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.

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRepublicans have spent .5 million at Trump properties since he took office: report Ex-Virginia GOP Senate candidate shares offensive voicemail allegedly left by Charlottesville rally organizer GOP leaders: No talk of inviting Russia delegation to Capitol MORE (R-Ky.) has said he plans to vote against the budget, while Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranMississippi courthouse named for Thad Cochran Todd Young in talks about chairing Senate GOP campaign arm US farming cannot afford to continue to fall behind MORE (R-Miss.) has been dealing with health issues.

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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.

House Republicans were stung when ObamaCare repeals died in the Senate after Paul and GOP Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOvernight Defense: Trump signs 7B defense policy bill into law | Rips McCain hours after signing bill named after him | Green Beret killed in Afghanistan blast Tapper thanks McCain for his service ‘since President Trump would not do it’ Trump rips McCain hours after signing bill named after him MORE (Ariz.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate Judiciary announces Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing NRA will spend M to support Kavanaugh for Supreme Court: report Planned Parenthood launches six-figure Supreme Court ad campaign MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiAlaska fishermen worry Trump tariffs will be ‘devastating’ to seafood industry Senate Judiciary announces Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing NRA will spend M to support Kavanaugh for Supreme Court: report MORE (Alaska), at various stages, opposed Republican bills.

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 BlackTrump’s endorsements cement power but come with risks The Hill's Morning Report — Trump optimistic about GOP’s midterm prospects as Republicans fret Women poised to take charge in Dem majority 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 CorkerGOP leaders: No talk of inviting Russia delegation to Capitol Collins and Murkowski face recess pressure cooker on Supreme Court Tougher Russia sanctions face skepticism from Senate Republicans 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.