Trump-Corker Feud Heats Up as Tax Plan Nears, Putting Reform at Risk

Trump-Corker Feud Heats Up as Tax Plan Nears, Putting Reform at Risk
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War of Words between President and Senator Intensifies on Twitter and in Interviews

Senator Bob Corker and President Donald Trump have now employed television interviews, Twitter, and spokespeople to fire shots at each other, intensifying the Trump-Corker feud. With the Trump tax plan nearing a Congressional debate and eventual vote, the loss of key votes in the Senate could spell disaster for tax reform.

Trump found himself embroiled in a number of personal fights during his campaign, and his presidency has offered more of the same. Corker is the latest in a long line of people who the president has personally insulted via Twitter and other media.

Corker, for his part, has bitten back at the president in various interviews.

“When his term is over I think the debasing of our nation, the constant non-truth-telling, just the name-calling, the debasement of our nation will be what he will be remembered most for, and that’s regretful,” said the Tennessee senator on CNN.

“We have young people who, for the first time, watching a president stating absolute non-truths, nonstop personalizing things in the way that he does, and it’s very sad for our nation,” said Corker.

Corker has called the White House an “adult day care center.” Corker’s chief of staff said that Trump has asked Corker to reconsider his decision to not run again, and has offered to endorse him.

“I want him to support diplomatic efforts, not embarrass and really malign efforts that are underway to try to get some diplomatic solution,” said Corker on NBC’s “Today” show.

In a CBS interview, Corker accused Trump of dividing the country on purpose. “It appears to be the governing model of this White House to purposefully divide,” he said. “It’s to consolidate base. Not to bring people together.”

Trump fired back multiple times on Twitter on Tuesday:

Corker will not be running for re-election for his Tennessee Senate seat. But, until the next election, his vote could play a key role in a number of initiatives that the Trump administration will propose. With the razor-thin margin in the Senate—Republicans hold a 52-48 majority—every lost vote could mean the difference between victory and defeat for Trump’s proposals.

The Trump-Corker feud is not the only personal conflict that endangers the Trump tax plan; Senator John McCain’s vocal criticism of Trump has also ramped up in recent days. With two Republican senators already at odds with Trump, this puts the president in a far weaker position when negotiating for the Trump tax plan.

The tax reform proposal has come under attack by some for mainly benefiting the top income brackets of the U.S. while giving the middle class only moderate reductions, with some American workers potentially seeing a tax increase, depending on where they live.

Others are concerned that the tax breaks, which will reduce government revenue by billions of dollars, will be paid for by making cuts elsewhere or by imposing limits on popular programs like the 401(k) plan, which helps Americans save for retirement.

Trump tweeted that 401(k) reforms were off the table, but there is concern that the president will not be able to cut enough costs elsewhere in order to pay for his tax cuts.

Further, Congress has already signaled its willingness to increase defense spending, while no major spending reductions have been slated.

The takeaway is that Trump’s personal conflicts that have spilled over into the public forum may endanger his signature tax reform plan, while his other proposals may similarly be vulnerable for the near future.

Without steadfast Republican support, the Trump tax plan and other policy initiatives are highly vulnerable to failure, as it’s unlikely that any Democrats will cross the aisle to support heavily conservative bills.

With partisanship ascending to new heights, the interpersonal feuding that’s taking place could impact the U.S. in a variety of ways, while also potentially stalling presidential and Congressional action for months.

Sources

Trump and Corker’s Feud Erupts Again, This Time Over Taxes,” Bloomberg, October 24, 2017.

Corker Is Speaking the Truth About Trump’s Lies. Now It’s Everyone Else’s Turn.,” Esquire, October 24, 2017.

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Categories: News, Political Discord

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