Senate Republicans Passed a Budget. They Should Thank Steve Bannon

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.

An announcement from the far-right Freedom Caucus later in the day was expected to signal cross-party support for the budget resolution. Instead of trying to split the difference between the House and Senate versions, it’s likely that the House will simply sign-off on the Senate version. That shortens the timeline for the ambitious tax overhaul by several weeks. “Did we finally get something right?” one self-aware Senate GOP aide said.

Republican advisers on both sides of Capitol Hill were working the phones Friday afternoon to donors, hoping the moves late Thursday would restore confidence in the party’s ability to move its agenda. Fundraisers in recent weeks had faced a revolt from their patrons, many of whom are losing patience with the party’s leaders and sense a souring mood among the party’s grassroots.

Spooked at the threat facing incumbents, several big donors had entertained the ideas planted by former Trump strategist Steve Bannon. The…


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