The Koch brothers are pressuring the GOP to focus on passing tax code
In this Aug. 30, 2013 file photo, David Koch speaks in Orlando, Florida. photo: AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File, photo: AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File
26 of June 2017 12:38:45
COLORADO SPRINGS – At least one influential donor has informed congressional Republicans that the "Dallas piggy bank" is closed until he sees major action on health care and taxes.Texas-based donor Doug Deason has already refused to host a fundraiser for two members of Congress and informed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republican from California, his checkbook is closed as well."Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed," Deason said in a pointed message to GOP leaders. "You control the Senate. You control the House. You have the presidency. There's no reason you can't get this done. Get it done and we'll open it back up."Indeed, there was a sense of frustration and urgency inside the private receptions and closed-door briefings at the Koch brothers' donor retreat this weekend in Colorado Springs, where the billionaire conservatives and their chief lieutenants warned of a rapidly shrinking window to push their agenda through Congress and get legislation to President Donald Trump to sign into law.https://youtu.be/HrDvW1Te2XYNo agenda items mattered more to the conservative Koch network than the GOP's promise to overhaul the nation's tax code and repeal and replace President Barack Obama's health care law. At the moment, however, both are bogged down by GOP infighting that jeopardizes their fate.At least one Koch official warned that the Republican Party's House majority could be in jeopardy if the GOP-led Congress doesn't follow through."If they don't make good on these promises ... there are going to be consequences, and quite frankly there should be," said Sean Lansing, chief operating officer for the Koch network's political arm, Americans For Prosperity (AFP).Deason, who is keeping the "Dallas piggy bank" closed for now, said he was recently approached by Rep. Mark Meadows, Republican from North Carolina and Rep. Jim Jordan, Republican from Ohio, about hosting a fundraiser."I said, 'No I'm not going to because we're closing the checkbook until you get some things done,'" Deason said, noting he's encouraged nearly two dozen major Texas donors to follow his lead."There is urgency," said AFP president Tim Phillips. "We believe we have a window of about 12 months to get as much of it accomplished as possible before the 2018 elections grind policy to a halt."The window for action may be even smaller, some Koch allies warned at the three-day donor retreat that drew roughly 400 participants to the base of the Rocky Mountains. The price for admission for most was a pledge to give at least $100,000 this year to the Kochs' broad policy and political network. There were also at least 18 elected officials on hand.Some hosted private policy discussions with donors while others simply mingled.