CONFUSION AT 1600? Here is what the White House has asked the Hill to do immediately: 1) Pass a repeal of Obamacare before August recess. 2) Lift the debt ceiling before August recess. 3) Agree on the outlines of a broad-based overhaul of the nation’s tax code before the August recess. 4) Clear outstanding executive and judicial branch nominations.
UHH, GUYS … There are 13 legislative days scheduled until the August recess. Obamacare repeal is in a tough spot. Congress is extremely unlikely to lift the debt ceiling before the August recess. And we can’t see any agreement on the horizon on tax reform.
HILL FOLKS TELL US that the timeline for tax reform has not changed — the White House wants it done by the end of 2017 — but you have to wonder why the administration is suddenly changing its tune.
HEADS UP — WHAT TO EXPECT — Expect a growing chorus of voices to call for Congress to cancel all — or part — of August recess. Lots of people want to at least show that they will work through at least part of the five-week work period, especially if Republicans have no accomplishments to bring back to constituents. We have heard from GOP leaders that they expect to be in session for part of August — even if for show. Chalk up a partial victory here to the House Freedom Caucus, which was one of the first groups out of the gate to advocate for this.