Rand Paul’s Absence Could Hurt GOP Agenda

Politico: “A prolonged absence by Paul could also complicate matters for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the broader Senate GOP’s legislative agenda. Republicans control just 52 votes in the chamber, and absences can thwart the leadership from obtaining the simple majority needed to confirm nominees and pass some legislation. The Senate GOP is aiming to take up their own tax overhaul later this month, which they are trying to pass using a fast-track legislative procedure that undercuts a filibuster from Democrats. A bill could be released later this week.”

“Paul has already indicated that, like during the health care fight, he is preparing to use his leverage to push the Senate’s tax bill in a more conservative direction — pushing for more ambitious rate cuts and even repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance. He was the sole Senate Republican to vote against the GOP budget that set up the fast-track procedure for tax reform, called reconciliation.”

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