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Politics

Why are Republicans in such a rush to pass tax reform? To outrun the truth.

Catherine Rampell on

There are lots of pressing issues Congress could be focusing on right now.

Lawmakers could work on reauthorizing the Children's Health Insurance Program, which expired Sept. 30, leaving the 9 million kids who depend on it in limbo.

Or maybe they could find a solution for so-called "dreamers," the undocumented immigrants brought here as children, who will lose their protected status soon unless Congress acts.

Or, hey, they could try to prevent the U.S. government from setting off a worldwide financial crisis. That's something that might happen in less than two weeks, when we hit the debt ceiling.

Instead, Republican senators have a different priority: jamming through their plutocratic, sloppy tax overhaul as quickly as possible. By "as quickly as possible," I mean as soon as this week, which would be a mere month after the first draft of the GOP tax bill was introduced in the House.

For comparison, the last time such a major overhaul happened -- during the Reagan administration -- the process took more than two years. And it included dozens of hearings and consultations with voters, tax practitioners and experts.

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That's nothing like the full-steam-ahead approach we've seen this time around.

Why the haste?

Republicans are of course desperate to notch a legislative win before the year ends, especially given their failed promise to repeal Obamacare.

But perhaps more important, Republican lawmakers need to pass this terrible bill before voters -- and indeed lawmakers themselves -- have a chance to learn what's in it.

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