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

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhatever you think the Alabama special election means, you’re probably wrong This week: Congress gets ball rolling on tax reform Week ahead: Senators work toward deal to fix ObamaCare markets 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 JohnsonGun proposal picks up GOP support GOP lawmaker to unveil bill banning gun bump stocks Senate Homeland Security chairman backs bump-stock ban after Las Vegas shootings 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 McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (R-Ky.) has already postponed for two weeks the start of the recess.