Congressional Republican leadership responded to President Trump’s tax reform outline Wednesday, saying the overhaul—which includes doubling standard deductions and slashing tax breaks—would serve as “critical guideposts” for tax reform discussions moving forward.
“Lower rates for individuals and families will allow them to keep more of their hard-earned money and empower them to invest more in their future … Getting tax rates down for American companies, big and small, will create new jobs and make the United States a more inviting place to do business,” the statement, signed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, read.
Rep. Brady told FOX Business Wednesday, that although Congress has a lot of work to do to move this proposal forward, the White House’s announcement served as an important first step toward finalizing tax reform this year.
“The most important takeaway from today is you now have the first serious step toward the House, the White House and the Senate getting together on the same plan. It won’t happen overnight, but this today signals we’re rolling up our sleeves, we’re going to do the hard work all to deliver this year on tax reform,” he said during an interview with FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto.
Brady worked on the House GOP blueprint for tax reform, which contains some important differences from the one the Trump administration put forth Wednesday, including the tax rates for both individuals and corporations. However, Brady insisted he was optimistic Republicans in Congress could reach a compromise.
“The rates are awfully close on the individual side, very close on the business side. We obviously want to get the rates down as low as we can … I continue to push in the House for us to get below 20 percent, if it’s possible,” he said.
The Trump administration hit a snag with its legislative agenda when its first big bill, the American Health Care Act, was put on hold due to opposition from both Democrats and a section of Republicans known as the Freedom Caucus. On Wednesday, the Freedom Caucus formally endorsed the health care legislation thanks to the addition of a new amendment, a development that could be very helpful for the advancement of tax reform, Brady said.
“It would be enormously helpful [to pass health care first], from a tax standpoint, but as important is to show that we’re willing to lead and govern with this president,” he said.
While the Trump administration did not specifically address the border adjustment tax, the Congressman from Texas insisted the president was still considering the proposal.
When it comes to how the tax cuts will be paid for, Brady said the details were still being worked out but “growth would go a long way [toward paying for tax reform.]”