Republicans will unveil tax reform legislation by late September, according to Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
“I think we’ll have a bill out of the White House, the Senate and the House by Sept. 28,” Norquist said on CNBC Monday. “The White House and the House and Senate leadership have made it clear they’re working together to write this bill.”
Now that the “skinny” repeal of the Affordable Care Act has stalled in the Senate, the GOP is laser-focused on pushing tax reform through as soon as possible.
To that end, Congressional Republican leaders and Trump administration officials released a joint statement containing principles for tax reform, which will be used to guide congressional tax-writing committees as they draft legislation.
Their statement, which was signed by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), recognized the fact that “for the first time in many years, the American people have elected a President and Congress that are fully committed to ensuring that ordinary Americans keep more of their hard-earned money and that our tax policies encourage employers to invest, hire, and grow. And under the leadership of President Trump, the White House and Treasury have met with over 200 members of the House and Senate and hundreds of grassroots and business groups to talk and listen to ideas about tax reform.”
Reiterating their intention to stand united in the effort to grow our country’s economy and help middle-class families recover from the past eight years under Obama, the group pledged to “fix our broken tax code for families, small business, and American job creators competing at home and around the globe.” And they’ve been meeting regularly for the past three months to develop a shared template for tax reform. Now, they say they’re ready to produce a bill for the president to sign.
Working on the premise that “there should be a lower tax rate for small businesses so they can compete with larger ones, and lower rates for all American businesses so they can compete with foreign ones,” the group stated that their goal is “a plan that reduces tax rates as much as possible, allows unprecedented capital expensing, places a priority on permanence, and creates a system that encourages American companies to bring back jobs and profits trapped overseas.”
Steering away from embarking on a new, consumption-based tax system, the policy-makers agreed to find a “viable approach for ensuring a level playing field between American and foreign companies and workers, while protecting American jobs and the U.S. tax base.”
When it comes to the controversial issue of border adjustability, the group decided to focus on tax reform instead. “We appreciate that there are many unknowns associated with (border adjustability) and have decided to set this policy aside in order to advance tax reform,” they wrote.
Now, the two tax-writing committees are ostensibly prepared to “develop and draft legislation that will result in the first comprehensive tax reform in a generation.”
Hoping to work with Democrats on the anticipated legislation, it was stated: “Our expectation is for this legislation to move through the committees this fall, under regular order, followed by consideration on the House and Senate floors,” they wrote, noting that the time has come to get down to business, because “American families are counting on us to deliver historic tax reform. And we will.”
Norquist noted that the tax reform process differs from health care because of the parties involved in drafting the bill: The White House and House and Senate Republicans.
“This time, all three are working together,” he said. “They’re not going to come up with one bill and ping pong it back and forth. It’s going to be, sort of, pre-negotiated. And the pieces of it are a lot easier.”