Gage Skidmore / Flickr mitch mcconnell...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

I love it when shit falls apart, just so long as it ain’t my shit that’s falling apart of course. And I think you’ll all agree, it couldn’t happen to a nicer creep than Yertl The Turtle.

The Daily Beast is reporting that GOP Senator Marco (Li’l Marco) Rubio has informed GOP leadership that he now officially opposes the tax bill if it doesn’t expand the “child tax credit,” a section of the tax code that benefits parents of low and lower middle class children. Not only that, but GOP Senator Mike Lee of Utah apparently agrees with him, the two have proposed a plan to expand the child tax credit for the reconciliation bill.

Mitch McConnell can’t afford this shit. If he wants to get this rammed through, speed is of the essence. So are numbers. They already had to lessen the proposed tax cut for millionaires, and come up off of Trump’s desired 20% to 21% to try to make the numbers add up. They must keep the deficit increase under $1.5 trillion if they want to use reconciliation to bypass the filibuster rules. Adding in billions in kiddie tax credits will have to be made up somewhere else, and nobody wants to give their own special interest goodies away in trade. Plus, throwing this particular grenade into the process will delay the process itself, forcing endless argument over the details, and slowing ramming it out of the committee to the floor for a final vote.

Mitch McConnell is in trouble here, and he damn well knows it. Vice President Mike Pence has already announced that he is delaying his planned trip to Israel in case his tie breaking 51st vote is needed. But let’s look at the numbers. Bob Corker was the lone Republican in the Senate to vote against the original bill, why would he change his mind and vote for this dogs breakfast bill? So, that’s most likely one “no” vote for final passage. If you lose both Mike Lee and Marco Rubio, Pence can pack his sun screen and skedaddle, the bill is dead. And if the conference committee tosses Rubio and Lee that cookie, how many Teabaggers do they risk losing by exploding the deficit anymore? And how many more personal agenda revisions do they get from other Senators who see that the “open for business” sign is out on the committee door? Where does it all end at that point? This is a no win situation for the GOP.

McConnell’s time troubles far exceed the Trump imposed Christmas deadline. The fact that the bill had to go to committee at all was disastrous for its chances. The longer it sits there, the more the negative news about the greed based composition of the bill for the rich gets reported. And the more the protesters show up, both on Capitol Hill, as well as in district offices. The longer this bill sits in committee, the more that becomes known about the original bills, and the stronger and more frequent the protests grow. We all saw what happened to healthcare in the Senate once the Resistance turned up the heat. This time it could be the House under the most pressure, not only with constituents in GOP risky high tax, high property value states like CA, NY, and MA expressing their displeasure, but also in the many districts that Hillary won in 2016 where GOP incumbents managed to ride it out. And this time there dren’t going to be very many free rides. Every congressional district in Texas has a Democrat ready to go on the ballot, and nationwide Democrats are coming out to be counted to run. Remember one thing, Doug Jones won a seat that the Democrats didn’t even bother to field a candidate for in 2014. You run, you can win.

So, whatever you do, don’t give up the fight on this tax bill just yet. You know, it’s kinda funny how karma works isn’t it? Back when healthcare was on the table, it was the House that was desperately hoping that the Senate passed something, anything, so that they weren’t left out there, twisting in the wind all by themselves for passing their bill. This time the Senate is going first on the compromise bill when it clears committee. As this unfolds, how many GOP incumbent congressmen and women do you think that there are hoping like hell that the Senate kills this bill so that they don’t have to take a vote on it and go back home to face their constituents? The Symmetry is spectacular, and so is the irony. Don’t touch that dial.

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