Policy

Top House Tax-Writer Embraces Trump's Call for Tax Code Revamp

Will likely mirror $2.4 trillion plan in Republicans' campaign agenda

Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas and other Republicans would have to reconcile any tax overhaul with Donald Trump's $9.5 trillion plan unveiled last September. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady embraced Donald Trump's call for speedy action on overhauling tax laws if Republicans sweep the November elections.  

In a statement after the Republican National Convention ended Thursday night, the Texan vowed that House Republicans would work with Trump and running mate Mike Pence “in the first 100 days of the new presidency to fix this broken tax code and repeal and replace Obamacare.”   

“House Republicans already have detailed, proven 'Better Way' solutions teed up and we are ready,” Brady said, referencing the tax proposals unveiled last month.  

The real estate mogul seemed to have a quick timetable in mind during his acceptance speech in Cleveland. “Reducing taxes will cause new companies and new jobs to come roaring back into our country. Believe me, it will happen, and it will happen fast,” said Trump, without offering any details.  

Brady and other senior Republicans plan to develop legislation mirroring the $2.4 trillion tax overhaul they outlined last month in their party's campaign agenda. But they likely would have to resolve differences with Trump, who alluded to his $9.5 trillion tax plan that he unveiled last September.  

He made no mention of a new tax plan that his campaign says is in development and expected to be released soon.  

[ Trump Pleases Congressional Republicans With Convention Speech ]  

Trump in his convention speech called the United States “one of the highest-taxed countries in the world,” a description that was called “false” by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan fiscal watchdog group. Ed Lorenzen, senior adviser for the group, voiced concern that Trump was trying to justify “extremely massive tax cuts, which would send the debt soaring.”  

The group pointed out that a study by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development found that total U.S. federal, state and local revenues amounted to 26 percent of gross domestic product in 2014 — less than the average 34.4 percent for other developed countries.  

For their part, House GOP leaders are emphasizing their confidence in holding on to their majority and emphasizing partisan priorities that could be advanced with Trump in the White House. Democrats need a net gain of 30 House seats to regain power.  

The House GOP plan would lower the top individual tax rate to 33 percent and cut the top corporate rate to 20 percent. It would also establish a new 25 percent tax on profits from S corporations and other small businesses that pass them directly to shareholders. Trump’s initial tax plan proposed a top individual rate of 25 percent and a top corporate rate of 15 percent.  

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Democrats are pitching their Stronger America campaign agenda that calls for higher taxes on wealthy families and multinational corporations.  

On the sixth anniversary of the Dodd-Frank financial services overhaul on Thursday, Pelosi said in a written statement that she and her caucus are focused on “securing the financial future of hardworking families and building an economy that works for everyone.”

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