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Opinion: Congressional GOP needs to pass a budget and concentrate on tax reform

FILE - In this March 10, 2017 file photo, House Budget Committee Chair Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Tax reform is next. That is the word out of the hallways of power in Washington, D.C.

While the GOP continues to try and push ahead health care reform, the White House and Republicans on Capitol Hill are eyeing the next big issue to tackle - overhauling the tax code.

Just as they have done with health care, Republicans want to reform the tax code through reconciliation - allowing them to pass the legislation with a simple majority in the Senate.

The catch: Republicans must first pass a budget in Congress to allow them to move forward with this plan. That may seem like an easy task but Congress has found it very difficult.

The House Budget Committee released its 2018 budget earlier this week and passed it in committee Wednesday night.

The plan proposes to ramp up defense spending while requiring substantial cuts to the social safety net and other domestic programs including Medicare and food stamps.

It is currently unclear whether there is enough support in the GOP alone for this budget. Like we saw with health care reform, both the conservative and moderate Republicans have deep concerns. Conservatives don’t think this budget goes far enough in cutting spending. Moderates think it goes too far.

Republicans have the majority in both houses of Congress. They can choose to get things done without trying to work with Democrats, but to do so the GOP on the Hill needs to be united.

If they have learned anything from the health care struggles, it is that unity in the Republican caucus is the key to fulfilling the promises made during the 2016 campaign.

Tax reform is a complicated undertaking but it hits home for Americans in very direct, specific ways.

It impacts our own, personal budgets. The voters who supported Republican majorities in Congress and President Donald Trump expect this big-ticket item to get done. The GOP needs to find a way, either through unity or bipartisanship, to pass a budget and then concentrate on drastically changing how much Americans pay in taxes. And that’s the Bottom Line.

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