With health-care legislation dead, House Republicans kick off effort on tax reform

House Republicans unveil 2018 budget plan
(Image credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

On Monday, the Republican hopes to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act this year essentially died, but by Tuesday morning the GOP was already moving on to the next big battle, a tax overhaul. On Tuesday morning, the House Budget Committee released its 2018 budget blueprint, which calls for significant increases in defense spending matched by $203 billion in cuts to domestic social programs like Medicare, Social Security, federal employee benefits, and welfare over the next decade. Crucially, it also sets up a procedural mechanism that could allow Senate Republicans to overhaul the tax code with no support from Democrats.

"In past years, our proposals had little chance of becoming a reality because we faced a Democratic White House," House Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black (R-Tenn.) said Tuesday, calling the blueprint "not just a vision for our country, but a plan for action" and "a governing document with real solutions to address our biggest challenges."

The first challenge will be getting the budget plan approved in the House, starting with a committee markup on Wednesday and an expected committee vote on Thursday. The GOP's far-right Freedom Caucus and more centrist Tuesday Group are already attacking the budget as too little in cuts and too harsh, respectively. The increases in defense spending would also require approval from Senate Democrats, as they would exceed the caps in the 2011 Budget Control Act.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.