Tags: cruz | watergate | tax reform

Cruz Warns: 'Watergate-Level Blowout' Looms if Tax Reform Fails

Image: Cruz Warns: 'Watergate-Level Blowout' Looms if Tax Reform Fails
(AP)

By    |   Saturday, 14 Oct 2017 09:33 AM

A "Watergate-level blowout" could be looming for Republicans in the upcoming midterm elections if senators don't achieve significant legislative strides on tax reform and healthcare legislation, Sen. Ted Cruz warned on Friday.

"If tax reform crashes and burns, if [on] Obamacare, nothing happens, we could face a bloodbath," the Texas Republican said while participating in a moderated discussion in Manhattan Friday, reports The Washington Post, while referring to the 1970s scandal that ended the presidency of Richard Nixon and hindered GOP elections that followed.

The talks were part of a two-day Manhattan summit bringing together the billionaire Koch brothers' donor network, influential senators like Cruz, and party strategists, many of whom said they fear disaster for the party if lawmakers don't pass a major overhaul of the nation's tax laws.

The Texas senator's comments came after he told CNBC on Friday that tax reform legislation may not be finished before year's end.

Some Republicans from blue states are concerned about provisions that could end state and local tax deductions, and Cruz admitted to CNBC that it will take "at least a couple months" to get the party's senators on the same page.

Sens. David Perdue, R-Georgia, and Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, also warned during Friday's meeting in Manhattan that there could be serious consequences if lawmakers fail to pass tax reform legislation, after the Senate was unable to pass Obamacare repeal and replace legislation already this year.

"Failure is a starting process, in my opinion, to losing the House, which will manifest in 2018 if we don’t get this done," Scott warned during a panel discussion. "Frankly, I think it destabilizes the Senate, we lose the Senate as well."

"I think we can get there, but I’m very, very concerned about it right now," Perdue told the audience, drawing laughs from the audience when he added that he thinks "48 United States senators get that."

Vice President Mike Pence, speaking to the Koch donors on Friday, said he was there to "assure them" that with the help with those in the room, "we're going to cut taxes across the board."

According to Koch network officials, the powerful donor group has already invested more than

$10 million while advocating for the sweeping GOP tax plan, which has promised sweeping tax cuts while simplifying the code.

The Post reports that the donors are concerned that party divisions, as well as distractions from President Donald Trump, could jeopardize tax reform. 

Donors attending the summit also warned that if Republicans can pass the tax bill, it would give party a huge boost, but if not, that could jeopardize next year's elections.

Colorado oil and gas executive Chris Wright commented that he is "hugely nervous" about the tax bill's chances, but if a bill is not passed, "Republicans will pay a heavy price in the midterm elections.

Another donor, Art Pope of North Carolina, also said that if Republicans fail, donations could suffer.

"When you have lack of success, that may depress voter turnout for Republicans, that may depress donations for Republicans and conservatives," he commented.

Cruz on Friday also slammed his fellow Senate Republicans for their failed achievement record following Trump's confirmation in January.

The confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, he said, was "damn near the only thing Senate Republicans have done."

He also called for Senate leaders to keep the chamber in session for more days each week, complaining that it's the "old bulls who don’t want to stay in session that long."

The Koch network has said it will spend between $300 million and $400 million on both policy and campaigns in 2018, including eight figures on tax reform, notes The Post.

"It’s the most significant federal effort we’ve ever undertaken," said Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips.

However, there were some at the summit who said they are concerned about Trump's fights with key party leaders, including his recent feud with Tennessee GOP Sen. Bob Corker, a key voice in tax and budget issues.

Trump also signed executive orders this past week to target Obamacare, which could take attention away from the tax issue. 

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A "Watergate-level blowout" could be looming for Republicans in the upcoming midterm elections if senators don't achieve significant legislative strides on tax reform and healthcare legislation, Sen. Ted Cruz warned on Friday.
cruz, watergate, tax reform
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2017-33-14
Saturday, 14 Oct 2017 09:33 AM
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