White House Back to Square One on Tax Reform?

Cornelia Mascio
Aprile 16, 2017

In an interview that aired Wednesday morning with Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo, President Trump outlined his priorities for overhauling healthcare and passing a "phenomenal" tax reform.

"Donald Trump's tax returns will help us answer the question: Does Trump really have America's best interests at heart?" said Susan Lerner, executive director at Common Cause New York, one of the sponsors of the march.

"That I think is their motivation", said Marc Gerson, vice chairman of the tax department at Miller & Chevalier and a former tax counsel to the House Ways and Means Committee.

"You will have a White House-Donald Trump tax plan that we are going to take down to the Hill and try and sell", he said.

Meanwhile, perhaps having read the writing on the Capitol rotunda wall, the White House is reportedly "going back to the drawing board for Republican consensus to overhaul" the tax system. Rather than accepting a bill written by the lawmakers, White House officials are taking a more active role.

Republicans figured they'd be toasting victory on Obamacare by now, and would be well on their way to crafting a 2018 budget that would pave the way for the tax code overhaul. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) vowed that Trump's hostage taking would fail, "President Trump is threatening to hold hostage health care for millions of Americans, many of whom voted for him, to achieve a political goal of repeal that would take health care away from millions more".

Either way, whether the president realizes this or not, the same problems that derailed his health care bill last month haven't gone away - and nearly certainly won't go away. Republicans are split on each of these measures, though, and Trump has repeatedly changed the approach for each.

"Member discussions continue, but we have no schedule updates to report at this time", said Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong.

It's unclear who the White House is listening to as it cobbles together a proposal to cut both corporate and individual taxes as Trump promised during the 2016 presidential campaign. Mulvaney made similar comments on CNN.

The White House is trying to learn the lessons from health care.

Companies and investors have been eagerly awaiting an overhaul to the US tax system that the administration has promised will lower corporate taxes and make it easier to bring money back from overseas. Brady has proposed a border adjustment system, which would eliminate corporate deductions on imports, to raise $1 trillion over 10 years that could fund lower corporate tax rates. "Now they're dealing with the realities of a closely divided Congress and a president who wants a win on this key, signature issue", said one business lobbyist, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Democrats would love a real infrastructure bill that put people to work repairing or replacing crumbling bridges, building tunnels to improve transit in congested areas-you could list important projects pretty much all day. "I don't like the word 'adjustment, ' because our country gets taken advantage of, to use a nice term, by every other country in the world". "Tax reform's got to be responsible and it's got to be progressive", said Sen.

But Trump offered a big caveat: "I'm not saying that's what I'm doing".

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