BREAKING: Republicans in the Senate (and only Republicans) just approved a budget that envisions a grotesque future—trillions of dollars in tax giveaways to the ultra wealthy, funded by cutting trillions from Medicaid, Medicare, and other vital programs for the poor and middle class.1,2
This vote is the starting gun for what might be the most consequential legislative fight of the Trump era: the looting of the U.S. treasury to reward billionaire GOP donors and mega-corporations, at the expense of the rest of us.
If Republicans succeed, their backers will reward them with boatloads of campaign cash—fueling their efforts to hold power in 2018 and 2020. If they fail, they'll turn on each other—opening the door toward a potential Democratic landslide. And beyond the political stakes, the human impact is vast: the acceleration of plutocracy in America and the shredding of the basic protections that tens of millions of American families depend on.
Here's how this fight will go down:
Tonight's vote was on a budget resolution. Budget resolutions are nonbinding—they don't become law. Instead, they are moral documents—statements of priorities that shape future legislation. They have one critical function: You need to pass a budget resolution to open the door to a budget reconciliation bill, which is the only kind of tax cut bill that can't be filibustered, so it would need only 51 votes. And one of those 51 votes could be Vice President Mike Pence.
In other words, with this budget resolution in place, the GOP can shoot for a tax bill without a single Democratic vote. To defeat it, we'll need unified Democratic opposition, plus three Republicans in the Senate or 24 in the House. It's the same math that we faced with health care repeal. But winning this one will be even harder.