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White House Refutes Claims That Trump’s Tax Plan Has Changed

Posted on April 11, 2017 by Asha Glover

President Trump’s campaign proposals on tax reform are still the “backbone” of his administration’s tax reform plans, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said April 10, refuting reports that Trump has gone back to the drawing board on the topic.

Instead, the administration is getting input on tax reform from other stakeholders, including industry groups, individuals, and lawmakers, Spicer said. “This is going to be a major undertaking, and I think we want to make sure that we listen, have their ideas and their input as we move forward. But this is the beginning phases of that process,” he told reporters.

The Associated Press reported April 10 that the Trump administration was considering several changes to its original tax reform plan, including slashing the payroll tax to garner Democratic support. That follows recent reports that the White House could be eyeing a VAT or a carbon tax to help balance the ambitious tax cuts Trump and Republican lawmakers are seeking.

Spicer also pushed back on claims that the administration has delayed its August deadline for tax reform. National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn said April 7 that tax reform might not pass Congress until the end of the year and that the administration’s August deadline for moving a tax code rewrite through Congress is secondary to getting the policy right.

“It’s not getting pushed,” Spicer said of the August deadline, adding, “Obviously, that still would be a great opportunity before they leave for August recess, but we’re going to make sure that we do this right and we do it with the input of all of the individuals, groups, and members of Congress that have had a longtime interest in doing this.”

Still, Spicer said he hopes middle-income Americans will have a tax cut by this time next year.

The revised tax plan that Trump released during the campaign would provide over $6 trillion in tax cuts over 10 years, with most of those benefits going to high-income earners, according to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Among its provisions, the Trump campaign tax plan would reduce the number of individual income tax brackets from seven to three, repeal the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax, and lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent while allowing passthroughs to be taxed at that same rate.

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady, R-Texas, has said that about 90 percent of the House "A Better Way" tax reform blueprint is similar to Trump’s coming tax proposals and that his plan is to complete action in his committee by this spring.

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