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

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDemocrats slide in battle for Senate O'Rourke's rise raises hopes for Texas Dems down ballot Election Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue 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 JohnsonGOP senator seeking information on FBI dealings with Bruce Ohr, former DOJ lawyer Election Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms Senate Homeland chair vents Mueller probe is preventing panel from receiving oversight answers 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 McConnellDemocrats slide in battle for Senate McConnell and wife confronted by customers at restaurant Pelosi, Schumer: Trump 'desperate' to put focus on immigration, not health care MORE (R-Ky.) has already postponed for two weeks the start of the recess.