Posted by on October 24, 2017 4:11 pm
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Categories: American Presbyterians Bob Corker Business China Congress Corker donald trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Economy Efforts to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Executive Order 13813 First 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency Foreign Relations Committee John McCain Mitch McConnell north korea obamacare Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act replacement proposals Political positions of Donald Trump Politics Presidency of Donald Trump republican party Rex Tillerson Senate Senate Finance Committee Sons of the American Revolution Twitter United States United States Senate election in Tennessee white house

Update (11:50 am ET): With just one hour remaining until Trump’s lunch meeting with Republican Senators on the Hill, Senator Bob Corker is apparently not yet ready to tone down his feud with President Trump having just told CNN that Trump will be most remembered for “the debasement of our country” after he leaves office.

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Update (10:30 am ET): With just hours to go before Trump’s lunchtime meeting with Congressional Republicans, the president is heaping still more twitter scorn on one of his biggest perceived foes, Tennessee Senator and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker.

This time, he’s focusing on Corker’s foreign-policy work. The president previously criticized Corker for helping create the Iran deal.

Corker was quick to respond himself – repeating his ‘Adult Day Care’ jab…

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At 1pm EST President Trump is heading to Capitol Hill to huddle with Senate Republicans in hopes that he can somehow mend fences with certain members of his own party and save his tax plan from meeting the same fate as his Obamacare repeal efforts. That said, he seems to be off to a bad start on the whole “fence mending thing” so far this morning after trashing Senator Corker in an early-morning tweet storm:

“Bob Corker, who helped President O give us the bad Iran Deal & couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee, is now fighting Tax Cuts.  Corker dropped out of the race in Tennesse when I refused to endorse him, and now is only negative on anything Trump. Look at his record!”

 

“Isn’t it sad that lightweight Senator Bob Corker, who couldn’t get re-elected in the Great State of Tennessee, will now fight Tax Cuts plus!”

Of course, the tweet storm followed an appearance by Senator Corker on “Good Morning America” this morning in which he attacked the President on his handling of foreign policy initiatives and stood by his previous comments that the White House has turned into an “adult day care center.”

Republican Sen. Bob Corker today stood by his remarks criticizing the White House as an “adult day care center” and arguing that President Trump is putting the United States on a path toward “World War III.”

 

“I don’t make comments I haven’t thought about,” the Tennessee senator said in an interview with “Good Morning America.”

 

Corker was an early Trump ally, endorsing him during the presidential campaign. But Corker has since been wary of how Trump is handling the presidency and, in particular, his treatment of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

 

“When you look at the fact that we’ve got this issue in North Korea and the president continues to kneecap his diplomatic representative, the secretary of state, and really move him away from successful diplomatic negotiations with China, which is key to this, you’re taking us on a path to combat,” Corker told “Good Morning America” today.

 

He added that when it comes to the diplomatic efforts underway to manage the rising tensions with North Korea, he would like for Trump to “leave it to the professionals for a while.”

 

“The president undermines our secretary of state [and] raises tensions in the area by virtue of the tweets that he sends out,” Corker said.

Of course, as The Hill points out, Trump’s feud with Corker is just the latest of long series of social media spats with Republicans that have ranged from John McCain to Mitch McConnell and Jeff Flake.

Two senators who have ratcheted up their rhetoric against Trump in recent weeks, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), are likely to be in the room.

 

Corker recently compared the White House to an “adult day care center,” while McCain over the weekend criticized wealthy people who avoided the Vietnam War because “they had a bone spur.” Trump was granted one of his five deferments from the war because of a bone spur; McCain late Monday denied that the remark was aimed at the president.

 

In August, Trump repeatedly blasted McConnell for failing to deliver legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare. At one point, he suggested McConnell should step aside if he couldn’t deliver.

 

Trump’s criticism of the Senate leader threatens to become a full-fledged revolt in next year’s elections, when Trump’s former adviser, Stephen Bannon, hopes to support candidates who can defeat members of the GOP establishment.

 

The president has already signaled his desire to oust Flake, a longtime critic he once called “toxic.” Trump encouraged a conservative former state legislator, Kelli Ward, to challenge Flake in next year’s primary.

Trump

That said, GOP Senators warn that Trump will have to set aside his feuds and put the full weight of his office behind tax reform if it’s to have any chance of passing.

“We’re certainly looking for the president to put the full force and power into helping put through a good tax reform bill,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

 

While Trump was dogged in his pursuit of ObamaCare repeal, he did not seize the bully pulpit by traveling around the country to give speeches on the party’s health-care plan.

 

Hatch said Trump should sell tax reform every chance he gets.

 

“It’s always an issue. No matter what you do, you never say enough about it,” Hatch observed about some of his colleagues’ grumbling during the health-care debate.

 

Trump has shown he has learned his lessons from the ObamaCare debate. He has already put in more legwork selling his tax plan to the public and fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill.

 

The president joined a conference call on Sunday afternoon with House Republicans, urging them to immediately pass the Senate-approved budget resolution and get to work on tax reform.

Of course, part of the problem with crafting the right messaging on tax reform is no one has any idea what will ultimately end up in the bill.  With just a few weeks left until the bill was supposed to be passed through the House, Republicans still haven’t set income brackets, are waffling on how to treat state and local tax deductions and have apparently even debated lowering contribution limits for 401(k) plans.

Inconsistent communication from the White House about how its tax plan would work and who would benefit risks undermining Trump’s campaign to build public support for his signature initiative. It also leaves lawmakers guessing about what the president wants — or at least is willing to accept — as Congress fills in the broad tax framework Trump and GOP leaders released last month.

 

Even Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, whose panel is responsible for drafting tax legislation, said in an interview Monday that he wasn’t certain of Trump’s red lines — hours after the president shot down in a Twitter post a Republican idea to reduce annual limits on 401(k) retirement account contributions.

 

“We need to know what the president wants to do to try to coordinate it with him,” he said. “So far I’m not quite sure where he’s going.”

 

Republicans have vacillated on how to treat state-and-local taxes and whether to add a higher tax bracket for top earners. Administration officials have made several conflicting statements about the effect on the deficit, ranging from predictions of debt-reducing growth to revenue neutrality to active advocacy for more debt.

 

“It’s a gong show,” said David Stockman, who served as budget director when President Ronald Reagan passed tax cuts in the 1980s. Stockman blamed “naïve cowboys” in the administration with scant Washington experience for the lack of message discipline.

We eagerly await Trump’s live tweets during the meeting.

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