McConnell's 2018 agenda clashes with other Republicans

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he "would not expect to see" the Senate tackle entitlement refor...

Posted: Dec 22, 2017 2:21 AM
Updated: Dec 22, 2017 2:21 AM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he "would not expect to see" the Senate tackle entitlement reform next year, signaling a break from his counterpart in the House on the Republican agenda in 2018.

"I think that Democrats will not be interested in entitlement reform," McConnell said at an event hosted by Axios. "So I would not expect to see that on the agenda."

Senate Majority Leader said he wants to address issues that can get Democratic support

His comments break with those of House Speaker Paul Ryan

Instead, he said Congress needs to move on to issues that will get some Democratic support, like infrastructure. "To do something in that area, we're going to have to have Democratic participation," he added.

Republicans were able to pass tax reform without Democratic votes, but only because they used a procedural tactic to avoid a filibuster, a maneuver that can only be used once every fiscal year.

Earlier this month, however, House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a radio interview the House would be working to reform health care entitlements in 2018, calling them "the big drivers of our debt."

Ryan specifically mentioned Medicare as being the "biggest entitlement that's got to have reform."

"Really, what it is is we need to convert our health care system to a patient-centered system, so that people have more choices, we have more competition," Ryan later said.

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