Pence: There will be changes to the tax plan

Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday said there will be changes to the tax plans of both houses of Congress before the final legislation is signed into law by President Trump, to ensure it fits the commander-in-chief’s vision for tax reform.

“There will be changes between the two and changes in the course of the legislative process,” Pence told Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.” “But we think the House bill is a great start. We look forward to the Senate bringing forward its tax cut bill.”

On Thursday, House Republicans released their tax plan which calls for repealing the estate tax and cutting the corporate tax rate to 20% from 35%— a fundamental component of President Trump’s campaign since day one and something the administration wants to see happen without delay.

“I think it has to happen immediately,” Pence said. “And we’re going to drive and drive hard… we’ve got to lower taxes on American businesses; we’ve got to do it quickly. So businesses… will be able to invest those dollars in wages, in hiring more employees and in the kind of growth it’ll create even more jobs.”

Part of the House GOP’s tax cut proposal also includes shrinking the number of income-tax brackets for individuals from seven to four—12%, 25%, 35% and 39.6%— though it does include a 45.6% marginal rate on some high-income earners. Under the proposed legislation, all Americans, regardless of what they earn, would pay the lowest rate on their first $45,000 of taxable income. Republican lawmakers want to claw back some of the benefits gained by wealthier Americans and thus would add $6 in taxes on every $100 of income earned on single Americans making more than $1 million and couples who earn more than $1.2 million. Once the benefit is phased out, the rate returns to 39.6%.

“I support the president’s commitment to keep the top marginal rate at 39.6% and we’re going to continue to drive toward that,” Pence said, when asked if he would agree to the 45.6% rate on high-income earners.

The president’s focus on improving the American economy isn’t stopping at home. Trump, on late Saturday night, arrived in Japan to kick-off a 13-day trip where he will visit four other countries—South Korea, China, the Philippines and Vietnam—where he will likely discuss North Korea’s nuclear threat, in addition to trade with foreign nations.

“Make no mistake about it: President Trump’s going to be talking American jobs and he’s going to be talking about not just free trade, but fair trade, and better deals that’ll be a better deal for the American worker,” Pence, who is a chairman of the U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue, said, adding that Trump would likely discuss the accessibility the American automobile and agriculture industries have in the Japanese marketplace.