CPI’s Weekly Compass for December 8, 2017

CPI Staff — Friday, December 8, 2017

Here are the top stories conservatives are following this week:

What’s Really Happening

Dems threaten shutdown over amnesty demands, GOP weighs big bipartisan spending deal:

A few weeks ago, dozens of conservative leaders issued warnings of a spending bill deal leading to trillion dollar deficits, rushed through Congress while most Americans are focused on the holiday season. They also worried the deal could include attaching amnesty. It appears Republican leaders may give in on liberal demands for $200 billion in new spending. However, Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-NC) says leadership has assured conservatives the pending deal will not contain DACA or insurance bailouts.

Yesterday, the House and Senate passed a temporary spending bill until December 22, but the fight for the final spending deal continues. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Democrats were willing to shutdown the government until Republicans pass amnesty for DACA recipients. President Trump said “they want to have illegal immigrants pouring into the country, bringing with them crime.”Senate Democrats seem divided, as the fight will come down to whether 8 Senate Democrats will help Republicans pass spending bills needed to keep the government open. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), facing a tough reelection next year, spoke against a shutdown, while likely Democrat presidential candidates Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Corey Booker (D-NJ), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) embraced the brinksmanship. 34 moderate Republicans have joined with Democratscall for DACA amnesty.

Dangers of a Tax Reform Conference Committee:

CPI’s Rachel Bovard explains the obstacles the conference committee, which began this week, presents to getting tax reform completed by Christmas:

“Once the bill gets to conference, other controversial issues within the tax bill will likely surface and must be dealt with, including the state and local tax deduction, the repeal of the individual mandate and the mortgage interest deduction, among others. Deals will have to be cut on these issues, and votes will have to be bought with compromise, policy tweaks and promises. Policies which motivated members to vote for the bill in the House or the Senate may be significantly modified — or dropped altogether.

“There’s a reason that former Ways and Means Chair Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) once described the conference process as ‘akin to mating a Chihuahua with a Great Dane.’

“The conference process is, fundamentally, an exercise in negotiation, palm-greasing, strong-arming, supplication and pay-offs. It’s as easy for a bill to successfully emerge, duct-taped together with a truckload of promises and last-minute deals as it is for it to collapse, dead from a thousand cuts.

“For conservatives, the question now presents itself: will the tax reform they want to support remain intact? Or will the integrity of the initial bill crumble under the weight of promises to pass DACA, to bailout insurance companies and justify trillion dollar deficits?”

Policy Perspectives

Notable Events

*Full list of all major conservative conferences around the country in 2017-2018 available at CPI’s blog.

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