McConnell Doesn't Expect To Tackle Entitlements In 2018

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump speak on the phone with children as they track Santa Claus' movements with the North American Aerospace Defense Command Santa Tracker on Christmas Eve at the president's Mar-a Lago esta

It controls the White House, Senate and House and would probably be blamed by voters for any major screw-ups.

It has been widely reported that the nation, on the whole, is souring on the Republican party. The GOP is helped by the fact that the states up for grabs in the Senate races are largely Democratic states, meaning that Democrats are on the defensive in most races.

Asked whether he's relieved that divisive Alabama Republican Roy Moore won't be coming to the Senate even though his loss in a special election cost the GOP a seat, McConnell said, "I think you know the answer to that". "We have to have Democratic involvement", McConnell said. Reining in those ever-growing programs has always been a priority for Ryan and his party, but targeting popular entitlements in an election year can be risky. Given that it could rob conservatives of a Supreme Court pick next year and other initiatives, that's a remarkable thing. And they face internal divides over issues like spending, where hard-right members of the House Freedom Caucus can be single-minded in their desire to slash spending and defy leadership efforts to strike compromises inevitably needed with Democrats.

The Kentucky Republican said at an event Thursday he "would not expect to see" the Senate tackle entitlement reform next year, signaling a break from his counterpart in the House on the Republican agenda in 2018.

McConnell echoed earlier remarks in which he's all but ruled out a 2018 effort to overhaul benefit programs like welfare, saying such an effort would need bipartisan support in a Senate that will be divided 51-49 next year. They included Sherrod Brown of Ohio, New Jersey's Cory Booker and Massachusetts' Elizabeth Warren.



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