Alexander joins Cruz in seeking an agenda for Republican U.S. senators

Under the headline “GOP senators need an agenda — so they’re doing a poll,” Politico reports Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander and Texas Sen. Ted have been quietly circulating an unusual “survey” of their colleagues in recent weeks asking about their level of support for dozens of legislative proposals, some of them highly controversial.

The areas under consideration include taking another stab at repealing and scaling back Obamacare; trying for Round 2 of tax cuts; eliminating or reining in the Consumer Financial Protection Board; defunding Planned Parenthood and other anti-abortion rights measures; instituting work requirements for federal welfare programs; expanding gun rights; instituting budget reforms; and dozens more.

Yet the Cruz-Alexander poll will likely show that Obamacare repeal still can’t get 50 GOP votes, according to Republican sources who’ve already taken the temperature of the caucus, and that any proposal to make the Trump tax cuts permanent couldn’t clear the 60-vote filibuster bar.

Further complicating matters, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) isn’t interested in holding “messaging” votes he knows will fail.

Still, the survey could show areas where 30 or so senators from each caucus could team up, such as regulatory reform or education legislation.

… “Our hope is to get a sense of the Conference on what legislative proposals can command 50 votes, and what is most import to each of you — additional victories we can achieve together in 2018,” Cruz and Alexander said in a May 16 letter. They based their efforts on a similar survey last year by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) that led to congressional repeal of Obama-era regulations opposed by business groups.

… Cruz, who is up for reelection in November, is trying to push as many conservative legislative measures as possible, worried that the potential loss of the House or the Senate this fall will curtail the GOP’s ambitions under Trump.

Once a McConnell antagonist, Cruz sought out Alexander’s support to help make the survey effort less confrontational and more collaborative. The Tennessee Republican suggested letting senators make their own legislative suggestions if they were uncomfortable picking from Cruz’s mostly conservative list, said a person familiar with the effort.

5 Responses to Alexander joins Cruz in seeking an agenda for Republican U.S. senators

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    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    In other words at the present time the legislative Republican Party has no platform in reality other than not to do anything that will make The U. S. Chamber of Commerce/Business Round Table angry. The Democrats are a party that resolutely hews to a strong left liberal ideology. The Republican Party is a grab bag of people who are not Democrats for one reason or another.

    The goal of conservatives must be to make the Republican Party as conservative as the Democratic Party is liberal. We do that by only financially supporting and voting for candidates with a record of conservative activism in Republican primaries. The more important the office the longer and more impressive should be the record. NEVER to “conservatives” that come to us newly born during the campaign for the office that they seek. Millions for true conservative office seekers, not a dime for the Republican Party in its present incarnation! The latter should be supported by The Chamber/Round Table and related personages it so loyally represents.

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      Steve L. says:

      Amen. Problem 1: A lack of candidates that are truly Conservative. Problem 2: The Chamber would rather have Democrats win than give up their cheap labor.

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        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        As to #1 I understand that we have one in Jimmy Matlock who is running to take Jimmy Duncan’s place in the U.S. Congress from Tennessee’s Second District. I hope he is not overlooked with all noise re: the other races.

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          Bob Fischer says:

          Conservatism is not hating liberals. Conservatism is an economic position offering defined solutions to challenges society faces. The problem Republicans face is that they offer no positions except obstruction. That’s why our infrastructure is on the verge of massive failure. Matlock has yet to address a single issue facing Tennesseans. He has not shown that he even understands how government in general works and he certainly hasn’t familiarized himself with the U.S. Constitution.

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    Tommy Ray McAnally says:


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