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Report: GOP Donations Down After Health Care Failure

| by Jordan Smith
GOP Senator John CornynGOP Senator John Cornyn

The Republican Party has experienced a drop in donations following its inability to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

According to two sources who spoke to CNN, the national Republican Senatorial Committee has experienced a $2 million shortfall in donations.

A spokesman for the committee refused to comment on the matter to CNN.

The decline in financial contributions could present a problem for the Republicans going into the 2018 midterm elections. Although Democrats are expected to have a better chance at taking back the House than the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has cautioned Republicans not to take their 52-48 majority in the upper chamber of Congress for granted.

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Some senior Republicans have spoken out against continuing to focus on health care reform. Instead, they want to move on to another aspect of President Donald Trump's agenda: tax reform.

"We're not going back to health care," Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah told Politico. "We're in tax now. As far as I'm concerned, they shot their wad on health care and that's the way it is. I'm sick of it."

Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina agreed.

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"What we ought to focus on is how we cut taxes in such a way that the average person in our country who has not experienced this recovery has more money in their accounts at the end of the week or the end of the month," he told Politico. "That's what we should focus on and I think we'll have some success there."

Time pressures are mounting on Republicans. The Senate is currently in recess until the beginning of September. By the end of September, Congress will have to raise the debt limit. It has also yet to pass a budget.

On top of this, some Republicans are concerned that if tax reform is not wrapped up by late November, it could become bogged down in the political campaigns that will subsequently be launched for the midterms in 2018.

But health care appears set to stick around for a while. Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, chairman of the Health Committee, is cooperating with Democrats to come up with a funding solution for cost-sharing payments to insurers. The payments were introduced by the Affordable Care Act and are made by the government to the insurance companies to fund coverage for low-income citizens.

Trump has threatened to cut the cost-sharing payments, but some Republicans say he will not follow through on this. If he does, it would likely exacerbate the problems in the Affordable Care Act and increase pressure on Congress to take up the health care issue once again.

Sources: CNN, Politico / Featured Image: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Lorie Shaull/Flickr, Shealah Craignhead/The White House/Wikimedia Commons

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