Kevin Brady set to push GOP tax agenda from Reagan ranch

Claudine Rigal
Août 21, 2017

He and other Republican congressmen stood in front of Reagan's Rancho del Cielo property and promised to finish their own legislation by year's end - a pledge Brady said can succeed only if Trump gets on board and stays on board.

In Congress, as they did for their failed push to dismantle Obamacare, Republicans are ramping up a nationwide publicity campaign in favor of tax law changes without first deciding on exactly what changes they want to make.

But tax legislation is not dominating the conversation in the country, or even at GOP tax events.

Brady is more charitable. "That's not new. Now this is on a whole different scale", he said. And no one can drive a message better than a president.

That means less ambiguity about white supremacists and moral equivalence, like Trump did this week when he laid blame on "both sides" in Charlottesville.

"We have more work to do".

Asked whether the plan would have specific provisions, Brady said: "We're working through the details of the overall tax plan with the White House, President Trump, and Senate tax writers as well". White House officials and Senate leaders were deeply skeptical of a plan from House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that would have cut taxes on exports in an effort to boost USA manufacturers. "Lowest point yet", Curbelo said, "And, hopefully, a turning point in some way". But the plan was met with fierce resistance from key stakeholders, such as retailers, who rely on imports for their business, forcing Ryan to abandon the plan late last month when he joined with Brady, McConnell, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to release a joint statement of unity on taxes. "I still think the president has the ability to refocus on tax reform", he said. "So when I see Congress working to cut taxes for working families and bring jobs back, I know how that matters".

That pivot was further complicated when Trump was forced to dissolve a pair of corporate advisory groups after a number of CEO members resigned over the president's comments about the Charlottesville protests.

To truly reform taxes rather than to simply cut them, lawmakers must offset lost revenue with additional revenue from another source.

What congressional Republicans say they need to hyper focus on now is making their case to the public. He wasn't able to on health care.

Republicans have only a few months to overcome internal divisions and other obstacles if they want to get tax legislation signed into law before January 1. "The notion of not getting either one of those things done is not a pleasant prospect".

"We've got a responsibility as leaders to say, 'OK, let's rub some dirt on our problems and move forward and figure this out, ' " Roskam said.

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