The White House tax reform plan is ”coming along very well” and will be released “very soon,” President Trump said April 18, although he reiterated his preference for passing a healthcare reform bill first.
Speaking at a Snap-On Tools manufacturing plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Trump said his administration is “in very good shape on tax reform.” He did not provide any specifics on the proposal.
The White House has been promising a tax reform plan for weeks. Following the failure of the American Health Care Act last month, and the pivot to tax reform, press secretary Sean Spicer said the White House -- rather than Congress -- would be ”driving the train” on legislation. However, in recent days, Trump has again begun stating a preference for passing a healthcare bill first.
Passing healthcare first “just makes the tax reform easier and it makes it better,” Trump said in Wisconsin, presumably referring to the widely held belief among Republicans that eliminating the Affordable Care Act’s taxes in a healthcare bill will make it easier to draft a revenue-neutral tax reform plan.
Trump also said that tax reform would be “on time” once healthcare is out of the way. While the White House had set a goal of passing tax reform legislation before the congressional August recess, several administration officials have recently acknowledged that that timeline is likely to slip. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, for instance, said in a Financial Times interview published April 17 that the August deadline was “highly aggressive to not realistic at this point,” attributing the delay in part to the healthcare effort.
House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady, R-Texas, also suggested in an April 18 Fox News interview that the long-held August deadline might be slipping, although he added that he had not discussed with Mnuchin the timing of passing tax reform legislation. Brady said that focusing on the month when tax reform happens is a bad approach and stressed that Republicans are committed to passing reform legislation this year.
Dylan F. Moroses contributed to this article.