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Cruz: Tax reform chances ‘drop significantly’ if healthcare fails

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSasse statement: Trump nominee who spread conspiracy theories has a ‘tinfoil hat’ Coalition of 44 groups calls for passage of drug pricing bill For the sake of our democracy, politicians must stop bickering MORE (R-Texas) said on Saturday that Republicans' efforts to overhaul the nation's tax code are likely to hinge on whether lawmakers are able to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

"I believe tax reform happens, but I think tax reform and ObamaCare are intertwined," he said on Fox Business Network. "If we get ObamaCare done — and I think we've got to — then I think the chances of tax reform skyrocket. If ObamaCare crashes and burns, I think the chances of tax reform drop significantly."

Republicans in the Senate have struggled to reach an agreement on a measure to overhaul the country's healthcare system, throwing into peril their seven-year promise to repeal former President Obama's signature healthcare law.

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The ongoing battle over healthcare reform has largely put on hold the GOP's work on tax reform — a key legislative priority of President Trump. 

Some Republicans, fatigued by multiple failed efforts to repeal ObamaCare, have called for Congress to move onto tax reform. 

"We’ve got to move on to tax reform so we have a competitive tax system," Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold Johnson40 patient advocacy groups oppose 'right to try' drug bill GOP eyes changes to 'right to try' bill Hundreds sign on to letter opposing 'right to try' drug bill MORE (R-Wis.) told reporters in the Capitol this week.

Trump, however, has insisted that Senate Republicans continue work on healthcare, telling lawmakers this week not to leave Washington for their August recess until they pass a healthcare measure.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems confront Kelly after he calls some immigrants 'lazy' McConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Defense: Latest on spending fight - House passes stopgap with defense money while Senate nears two-year budget deal | Pentagon planning military parade for Trump | Afghan war will cost B in 2018 MORE (R-Ky.) has already postponed for two weeks the start of the recess.