The infamous Senate Republican working group met yet again Thursday, this time to talk about tax credits. It's only been two weeks since the House passed its bill, but as one senior GOP aide put it to Caitlin Owens, "The working group has made lots of progress in sharing their feelings."
They weren't kidding when they said they're starting from scratch and not just rewriting details. Many members have spoken for a long time about beefing up the House tax credits to help lower-income and older people. But when Caitlin asked Sen. Ted Cruz whether the group is even all in agreement about advanceable tax credits — which is what the House bill has — his response was: "That is one of the many aspects of the bill that are the subject of discussion."
Between the lines: The lack of any decisions about very basic structural pieces of the bill highlights the ideological diversity of Senate Republicans. Getting the necessary 50 votes is going to be difficult.
What we're watching: Whether next week's Congressional Budget Office score of the House bill will help the Senate pick up its pace. "We're interested in what CBO has to say about the House bill, but that doesn't keep us from writing our own bill," Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, told reporters.