Desperate to pass a tax reform bill by the end of the year, House Republicans have all but agreed not to nitpick the Senate-passed budget resolution, and instead pass it this week in order to quickly pave the way for a filibuster-proof vote on tax overhaul legislation.
The House plans to vote Thursday on the Senate's $4 trillion budget blueprint, which allows for a $1.5 trillion tax cut and increases the deficit.
President Trump Monday began phoning House Republican lawmakers who might be reluctant to back the Senate budget resolution, which is less fiscally conservative than the House budget that passed earlier this month.
"He's calling and making his pitch," Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. said. "I told him, Mr. President, this budget stinks."
While the Senate plan sticks to federally mandated (and unpopular) spending caps, the House budget doesn't, and it boosts defense spending while slashing domestic spending. The House plan also funds the southern border wall and reforms entitlements.
Still, Cole pledged to the president that he will vote for the plan.
"We are not going to miss the opportunity to make tax reform," Cole said. "I think this is going to pass pretty easily. We need the win."
The plan to take up the Senate bill speeds up the GOP's larger goal of tax reform by foregoing the potentially lengthy process of negotiating and then passing a compromise version of the Senate resolution and the budget plan approved by the House earlier this month.
Once the budget resolution clears both chambers, lawmakers can begin advancing their tax plan, which will be hitched to the resolution and given special rules allowing it to advance and pass in the Senate with only 51 votes, rather than the usual 60 votes.
The plan to take up the Senate budget in the House has earned the endorsement of conservative House lawmakers and outside Tea Party groups, despite significant differences between the two budgets.
The Senate budget as of Monday night appeared poised for easy passage in the House.
"We're looking forward to a good vote later this week so the House can continue working to deliver pro-growth tax reform that creates jobs and puts money back in families' pockets," Chris Bond, a spokesman for the head vote counter, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., told the Washington Examiner on Monday.
Lawmakers are anxious to finish tax reform by the end of the year after wasting months trying but failing to repeal and replace Obamacare, a top GOP campaign promise.
President Trump is stepping up the pressure for lawmakers to move swiftly. He called on Congress to pass the overhaul by Thanksgiving.
"I want to get it by the end of the year but I'd be very disappointed if it took that long," Trump told Fox News on Sunday. He urged the House and Senate to stay in session rather than adjourning for the week of Thanksgiving if they have not sent a tax overhaul bill to his desk by then.
Conservatives in the House are also urging swift passage of a tax plan.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., agreed to vote for the Senate budget only if it would ensure lawmakers quickly advance a tax bill.
According to a Meadows aide, lawmakers could begin consideration of a bill in committee as soon as next week.
"We intend to support [the budget] so long as we receive a commitment to move up the timeline for tax reform," Meadows spokesman Ben Williamson told the Washington Examiner. "From what we've been told it looks good. Planning to support."