Philip Elliott writes at Time Magazine:
After nine months of setbacks, stumbles and outright failures, Senate Republicans made good on at least one big campaign promise.
In a vote late Thursday, the Senate passed a budget resolution and set the stage for tax cuts to be tacked onto it. The proposal drew unified Democratic opposition—along with GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who thought the budget’s $1.5 trillion in red ink was too much—and heads next to the House, where its odds look promising.
“This is another important milestone for tax reform,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Friday.
Spooked at the threat facing incumbents, several big donors had entertained the ideas planted by former Trump strategist Steve Bannon. The Bannon mold of throwing the bums out seemed appealing—and perhaps inevitable had the GOP gone home at the end of the year with nothing to show. Without delivering on the promise to cut taxes, the GOP’s leading lawmakers feared they were handing Bannon ammo as he prepared a slate of rabble-rousing challengers.
In that sense, the threat from Bannon helped rally on-the-fence lawmakers around the budget proposal. Some, like Sen. John McCain of Arizona, were no fans of its details, but they also recognized failure would spell disaster for the party during next year’s elections. “They bit the bullet,” said one fundraiser for a conservative group. “They didn’t love it, but they knew the alternative was worse.”