welfare reform

2018 Republican Agenda Not What Lawmakers Envisioned
Plan for the year ahead coming out of GOP retreat is leaner than Republicans had hoped

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., right, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., arrive for a news conference at the media center during the House and Senate Republican retreat at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The 2018 Republican legislative agenda is on a diet.

As House and Senate GOP lawmakers huddled at a West Virginia resort Wednesday through Friday for their annual retreat, they discussed a handful of legislative items they would like to tackle this year, including defense, infrastructure, workforce development and the budget process.

Paul Ryan Pivots to Tax Code Rewrite, Welfare Overhaul
Speaker still wants Senate to get health care done but makes no assurances

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan appears ready to move on to other Republican priorities such as tax and welfare overhauls. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Amid a Senate Republican impasse over health care, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan is trying to pivot to two other major priorities: rewriting the tax code and overhauling welfare programs.

“Welfare reform and tax reform are the two big things” Republicans need to get done this fall to complete their agenda for the year, as well infrastructure, Ryan told talk radio host Mike Gallagher on Wednesday.

Prospect of Repeat Budget Failure Puts Pressure on Republicans
Budget needed for GOP to get to tax overhaul, possibly mandatory spending cuts

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black, seen here at a committee hearing last month with ranking Democrat John Yarmuth, is confident Republicans will pass a budget this year, despite GOP divisions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans face the possibility of failing to pass a full budget resolution for the second year in a row, despite making progress on their goals for a fiscal 2018 budget resolution.

The stakes are much higher than last year as the budget, through the reconciliation process, has become a tool for Republicans to advance legislation without Democratic support, something they lack on nearly all of their top priorities.