WASHINGTON- Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) on Tuesday said bipartisan cooperation on tax reform could be jeopardized if Republicans insert Obamacare repeal reconciliation instructions into tax reform legislation.
“It will make getting tax reform done much harder,” the 2016 vice presidential candidate told TMN.
“And it will also feed into a narrative that the whole health care battle has basically been really about taking money out of health care for vulnerable people so they can give tax breaks to the well off,” he added.
Kaine’s comments come as Senate Republican leaders are debating whether to hold a vote on the latest Obamacare repeal proposal.
Three upper chamber Republicans have said they will not support the legislation. Absent a defection that scenario renders the measure impassible.
Republicans aim to pass the legislation before Sep. 30 as the Senate parliamentarian has ruled that health care reconciliation instructions expire on that date.
Reconciliation lowers the threshold for breaking a filibuster and effectively allows for legislation to pass with a simple majority as opposed to sixty votes.
Should consideration of Obamacare repeal legislation extend beyond September new reconciliation instructions would have to be included in the FY 2018 budget resolution.
The budget resolution is being used as the vehicle to implement the Trump Administration’s tax reform package.