As House Republicans close in on a final version of their package of tax cuts and their Senate brethren unveil their starting point, some in the GOP are still pushing the idea that the party should package the already-heavy lift with a health care overhaul that, to this point, has proven unworkable.
“That’s one of the many things our members are talking about,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday. “I want to get rid of the individual mandate any way I can.”
Many of Ryan’s colleagues couldn’t help but roll their eyes at that idea. The sarcastic gibe goes like this: By all means, then, lump together the repeal of a central plank of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, with the thorny rewrite of the tax code. The scrapping of Obamacare has already failed — twice — in the Senate, but trying it again with even less party unity, in some conservative minds? Got it.
The vote-counting team in the House was scrambling to see if they could pass the tax cuts on their own, and members were two-tracking a second tally to see if there they could get taxes and health care in one bill. If successful, it would be one the biggest legislative feats since Congress passed Obamacare in 2010.