Team Trump wants to lead on ‘tax reform,’ but House Republicans aren’t about to let him

“We have so much in common with the Trump administration — it wouldn’t make sense to have a separate bill from Secretary Mnuchin, a separate one from Gary Cohn, a third from whomever,” Brady told Fox Business News, referring to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Trump’s economic adviser.

“Why not take the basis of the House plan?”

The setup here, then, is almost exactly what it was during the Obamacare repeal fight. Paul Ryan and his House Republicans have been developing “plans” for what they’d do if they were in charge for years—and the details of those plans are likely to be wildly unpopular when actually released, because like the Obamacare repeal their “tax reform” plans are expected to focus almost entirely on cutting taxes on corporations and the ultra-rich by raising taxes and slashing services for everybody else. Team Trump will be wandering in with a series of campaign promises that nobody has any intention of keeping and a team of “negotiators” that don’t have the foggiest idea what they’re actually doing.

Then there will be a huge fight between the Ryan faction (that wants to do as much as they possibly can get away with), the Freedom Caucus (which will insist on doing at least 50 percent more than that), and President Steve Bannon, who will wander through the halls yelling that each congressperson should do whatever the White House tells them to do or they will all Rue The Day, and so forth.

It turns out governing is hard. It’s even harder when your party’s purity tests have systemically eliminated anyone who might have some idea how to do it, and harder still when your ideas are so terrible that the only way you can get them passed is if the public doesn’t know what they are. No matter what happens, this is going to be a mess

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