Listen: GOP and Democrats have conflicting forecasts for 2018

Listen: GOP and Democrats have conflicting forecasts for 2018

Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress have contrasting views of how the recently passed GOP tax legislation will impact their respective parties in 2018.

The sweeping Republican tax bill will help the GOP retain its control in Congress next fall, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyHouse GOP bill a mixed bag for retirement savers China imposes new tariffs on billion of US goods: report Trump announces tariffs on 0B in Chinese goods MORE (R-Texas) told The Hill for the Power Politics podcast.

Or Democratic candidates will prosper in 2018 because of what House Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDems' confidence swells with midterms fast approaching Trump's Puerto Rico tweets spark backlash Hoyer lays out government reform blueprint MORE (D-Md.) sees as the unpopularity of tax cuts that primarily benefit corporations and the rich, coupled with a president who has dismal approval ratings.

During separate Power Politics conversations in the Capitol, the two House leaders explained why they view the political terrain so differently heading into an election year that history suggests may prove a challenge for the party in power.

 

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Brady said GOP lawmakers and President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE will plan appearances next year to try to overcome public skepticism, as measured by numerous polls.

Americans will recognize “a stark contrast” between Republicans who delivered lower taxes and Democrats who voted against them, he said.

Democrats “voted against letting them keep more of their money,” opposed “doubling the child tax credit” and rejected other provisions aimed at the middle class, children and the disabled, Brady said.

He also defended loopholes that survived in the bill and said filing taxes will in fact be simpler for Americans who qualify for a larger standard deduction, despite skepticism from experts.

Brady rejected political comparisons with 2010, when Democrats insisted that enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) would buoy the party’s fortunes in the November midterms. Instead, Democrats were swamped, losing 63 House seats and six Senate seats.

Brady also said that Republicans can learn a few lessons from the party's failure to move ObamaCare repeal and replace legislation through the Senate.

“I think there was lessons learned,” Brady said. “And those lessons were, the sooner we get on the same page with the president and the White House, the better if we did that. And the sooner we work toward one common approach, the House and the Senate, and set the timetable … that really created the runway to get this done.”

Across the aisle, Hoyer believes the GOP’s tax law will be a potent political weapon for Democrats in 2018. He and others in his party maintain that, while Trump and the GOP promised a jobs boom and higher wages as a result of lower tax rates, working-class voters will be disappointed.

Of 20 companies in the Fortune 500 surveyed by the Washington Post about the new tax law, not a single company said it planned to raise wages as a result of lower tax liabilities, he noted.

“Our message is going to be jobs, our message is going to be growth,” Hoyer told The Hill. “Our message is going to be, frankly, when you have Democrats in charge, the economy does better.”

The Democrat sees a favorable political year for his party ahead.

“I think we’re going to win the majority back,” he predicted of Congress. “I think it feels very much to me like 2010 in the reverse, or 2006. I think this president is not doing a good job, and not raising confidence.”

Hoyer said there is emerging evidence that Americans are beginning to register their displeasure with Trump’s presidency and GOP control in Washington, judging from recent Democratic wins in Virginia, New Jersey and the Alabama special Senate election.

“That indicates to me that what’s going to happen a year from now is that people are going to go to the polls and say, 'look, we want someone to watch this president. We don’t trust this president to keep us safe, keep us out of war, do the things that are good for our country,’” he added.

Hoyer also suggested that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign will continue to plague the president and the party heading into the new year. 

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