The newly unveiled Republican tax reform plan, the first substantive tax overhaul in nearly 30 years, could be passed much sooner than the GOP’s proposed 2018 deadline, President Donald Trump told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo in an exclusive interview.
“I want to get it done by the end of the year, but I'd be very disappointed if it took that long,” Trump said in an interview to be aired on “Sunday Morning Futures.” “It could be substantially less than that, depending on what happens when we send the bill back to the House.”
So far, Trump has said the sweeping, nearly $6 trillion cuts will focus on reducing taxes for middle-class Americans and corporations, which would see a 15 percentage point decrease in tax rates from 35% to 20%. It would also simplify personal tax brackets, collapsing the number from seven to three or four.
Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) insinuated during a conversation on “CBS This Morning” that President Trump wanted to create a fourth bracket for high-income individuals to ensure that the middle class, not the wealthy, benefitted from the tax cut package. Trump confirmed that the GOP was discussing this, but said he would “rather not” have that added bracket.
“But the only reason I would have -- and [Rep. Ryan] does say this, he's very plain in what he said -- is if, for any reason, I feel the middle class is not properly being taken care of,” he told Bartiromo.
Ryan declined to provide the rate for the final bracket. Currently, the individual tax rates would be 12%, 25% and 35%, and experts anticipate the fourth bracket to fall somewhere between 35% and 39.6%. The plan doesn’t set the income levels at which the rates would apply, so it’s unclear how families would be affected or what type of tax reduction they could see.
In order for the House Ways and Means Committee to introduce tax reform legislation, Congress must approve a final version of the fiscal-year 2018 budget. Late Thursday, the Senate passed its version of the bill. And on Thursday, House sources told Fox News that Republicans in the chamber are hoping to advance the tax reform package before Thanksgiving, with a goal of approval before year’s end.
“You know, they’ll send it back and people will go, and you know, make 200 suggestions, as opposed to maybe no suggestions, because it’s a great bill,” Trump said. “It’s going to be a great bill.”
Trump’s full interview with Bartiromo airs Sunday on Fox News during “Sunday Morning Futures,” and Monday on Fox Business during “Mornings with Maria.”