Trump is already backtracking on his promise for a 'very major tax cut' before the midterms

Ralph Freso/Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump.
  • President Donald Trump said Republicans would roll out a middle-class tax-cut plan before the midterm elections in November.
  • The suggestion reportedly took GOP leaders by surprise.
  • Such an effort would be unlikely, given that Congress is in recess through Election Day.

President Donald Trump dropped a shocking piece of news during a visit to Nevada on Saturday: Republicans, he said, were aiming to roll out another tax cut for the middle class by the midterm elections on November 6.

“We are looking at putting in a very major tax cut for middle-income people,” Trump said. “And if we do that, it will be sometime just prior, I would say, to November.”

The suggestion took everyone in Washington by surprise – even GOP leaders.

The idea that any major tax legislation could pass, or even be introduced, in the two weeks before the midterm elections is far-fetched at best and most likely impossible.

For one thing, Congress is not in session until after Election Day, as most members are out on the campaign trail.

And any plan would be likely to get blowback from lawmakers – even Republicans – who were concerned that the GOP tax law passed in December, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, was rushed and expanded the federal deficit by too much.

Finally, to pass any more tax legislation, the GOP, to avoid a filibuster, would need to get a handful of Democrats on board with the plan, which would be highly unlikely.

Amid the confusion, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin clarified in an interview with The New York Times on Sunday that the administration and GOP leaders were working on a plan for another middle-class tax cut that would be released, but not passed, by the midterms.

On Monday, Trump told reporters that the plan would be a resolution that would aim to give middle-income earners another 10% tax cut on top of the reductions from the new tax law. It was not clear whether Trump was referring to a symbolic resolution or actual legislation.

While the ambition for the new tax plan is quickly being dialed back, the goal in talking about one is most likely to drum up support for GOP candidates before the midterms.

The GOP tax law still polls poorly, and Republican groups have largely stopped advertising around the cuts. Rolling out another tax plan just before the elections could be an attempt to energize the base and boost turnout among Republican voters.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.