By Kerry Eleveld , Daily Kos; Monday Oct 16, 2017 · 12:28 PM EDT
On Face the Nation this weekend, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham mused at what will happen to Republicans in the midterms if they fail as miserably at passing tax cuts as they did at repealing health care: “We’re dead.”
“If we don’t cut taxes and we don’t eventually repeal and replace Obamacare, then we’re going to lose across the board in the House in 2018,” Graham said. “And all of my colleagues running in primaries in 2018 will probably get beat.”
“It will be the end of Mitch McConnell as we know it,” he added.
At an exclusive Koch network gathering in New York last week of 100-plus major donors, the talk was no less dire. The Washington Post‘s Sean Sullivan writes:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) warned that Republicans could face a “Watergate-level blowout” in the midterm elections if they don’t make major legislative strides on taxes and health care, invoking the political scandal that brought down Richard Nixon’s presidency and set back the GOP considerably in subsequent elections.
“If tax reform crashes and burns, if [on] Obamacare, nothing happens, we could face a bloodbath,” said Cruz, who spoke in a moderated discussion.
Just how important is that tax cut to rich GOP donors?
“It’s the most significant federal effort we’ve ever undertaken,” said Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, a national Koch-backed organization.
So the rich donors are equally as desperate to give themselves a tax cut as Republican lawmakers are to do so in order to keep to control of Congress. That said, passing tax cuts poses many of the same problems for the GOP as trying to repeal health care: they all want it done, but similar divisions apply between the party’s right-wing nihilists, slightly more moderate members, and the so-called deficit hawks, all from varying regions of the country.