by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Republicans are worried that touting this year’s tax cut bill and tying Democrats to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., won’t be enough to hold the House and Senate in the November midterms.
While GOP lawmakers maintain that both are important campaign issue, some believe the party is leaning too heavily on them, particularly in light of some predictions that they are about to lose upwards of 45 House seats. Rep. Conor Lamb’s, D-Pa., likely victory over Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania last Tuesday also showed both arguments can be neutralized.
“I think the bigger challenge for members is defining themselves,” said Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa. “Members must develop their own brand for their district, if they haven’t already, and then go out and sell it. Tax reform might be part of that brand, but boy, you better have a brand this year. If your brand is just generic Republican, that’s going to be a problem.” …
… Nonetheless, top groups, fronted by the Congressional Leadership Fund, or CLF, and the National Republican Congressional Committee, or NRCC, plan to keep the two messages front-and-center in the coming months, led by ongoing push to sell the tax law.
“Republicans have to run and win on tax reform,” said Corry Bliss, head of the CLF, a PAC that is supported by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. “Tax reform is an offensive, not a defensive, issue.”