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Following the victory of Republican Karen Handel in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District election, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to call on Democrats to work with him.
“Democrats would do much better as a party if they got together with Republicans on Healthcare, Tax Cuts, Security,” Trump tweeted. “Obstruction doesn’t work!”
While any cross-aisle dealings appear unlikely, Trump’s positions some of his key agenda items appear to be strengthened by victories in the Georgia and South Carolina special elections Tuesday night.
Prior to Tuesday, analysts said the combination of the Russian investigations, public pushback, and a tight schedule could derail several of Trump’s agenda items. With the victories, along with wins in the Kansas and Montana special elections, the political will to push on with healthcare and tax reforms may increase.
Edward Mills, an analyst at FBR & Company, said the results would bolster the chances of policy victories for Trump and Republicans in the coming months.
“The victories should provide a little breathing room for Republican leaders, showing incumbents at risk in 2018 that the GOP agenda can still win in Republican districts and reinforcing efforts to deliver on promises to motivate the base such as tax cuts and Obamacare,” Mills wrote in a note to clients on Wednesday. “This strengthens our expectation that Congress will address Obamacare and Tax reform this year.”
Chris Krueger, an analyst at Cowen Washington Research Group, said in a note that Tuesday’s wins mean “on health care, it likely makes GOP less nervous despite the AHCA polling worse than TARP,” also known as the bank bailouts.
Greg Valliere, the chief strategist at Horizon Investments, said, however, there is little to read from the Georgia election.
“Meanwhile, the election result still looks ridiculously over-hyped, with no cosmic implications for the 2018 mid-terms, which are 17 months away,” Valliere said in a note to clients. “Trump needed a win, and he got one.”
Given that Republicans were likely to forge ahead on tax cuts and healthcare regardless of the outcome, the win at least boosts the convictions to get the legislation through as soon as possible.
Currently, the Senate is nearing its own version of healthcare legislation, and leaders are hoping to get a vote on the bill by the week-long July 4 holiday.
House Speaker Paul Ryan also reignited the tax reform debate Tuesday with a speech to the National Association of Manufacturers, a speech Valliere said shows the push for lower taxes rates is “stirring” in Washington.