President Trump will reportedly start over with his Administration’s tax plan, abandoning the outline tax reform proposal first announced during his presidential campaign.
White House officials have indicated that the plan will include a focus on tax relief for rural and industrialized parts of the country, and that the president hopes to build broad Republican consensus on a tax reform plan before formal introduction. As a result, the August timeline for the administration’s tax reform proposal set by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is likely to slip into the fall.
Efforts around tax reform mark the first time the Trump Administration is attempting to draft legislation and the process is in the early stages. Still feeling the sting over a failed effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the White House plans to take a greater leadership role in tax reform discussions.
It remains unclear how the administration’s plans will impact the work of the House Ways and Means Committee Republicans who have been putting together a legislative proposal based on their 2016 blueprint over the past few months. Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) has indicated that he still plans to introduce and mark up tax reform legislation this summer.
Thus far, both the Administration and House Republicans have indicated that they only plan to pass tax reform with Republican votes, signaling the potential for tax reform to be passed under reconciliation rules that require only simple majorities to advance legislation. However, that posture may change and afford Democrats more leverage if deep divisions within the Republican conference are exposed as they were in the fight over ACA repeal.
Jamie Tucker is the director, public policy strategy and operations at Independent Sector.