Trump is sending confusing signals on his timeline for tax cuts

Donald trump mitch mcconnellChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesDonald Trump and Mitch McConnell

President Donald Trump appeared on Monday to curb expectations that Republicans would pass a tax reform package by the end of the year, while also imploring the GOP to move as quickly as possible on the plan.

Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took questions after a meeting at the White House on the GOP agenda, during which Trump was asked about the timetable for tax reform.

The president said he wants a bill passed sometime this year, but he and McConnell also cautioned that large-scale agenda items usually take more than one year into a president’s term to complete.

“I would like to see it be done this year, I would like very much to see it be done this year,” Trump told reporters. “So we won’t go a step further, if we get it done that’s a great achievement. But don’t forget, it took years for the Reagan administration to get taxes done, I’ve only been here nine months — a little more than nine months.”

Trump also compared the push to President Barack Obama taking a roughly two years to pass the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. 

Trump and White House officials have repeatedly pointed to the end of 2017 as a deadline for tax reform. And on Monday, the president seemed to still be targeting the end of the year.

“I really believe we have a very good chance, and I believe Mitch feels the same way, about getting the taxes done hopefully fairly long before the end of the year,” Trump said.

McConnell took a similar tact, pointing to the end of the calendar year as a goal but providing examples of major legislation that took longer.

“The goal is to get it done this calendar year,” said the Majority Leader. “It is important to remember that Obama signed Obamacare in March of year two. Obama signed Dodd-Frank in July of year two.”

Most analysts do not believe that any tax reform legislation will be passed by the end of the year. In fact, an August survey of more than 3,100 tax professionals by consulting firm Deloitte showed only 19% believed a tax bill would be on Trump’s desk by year’s end.

Watch the comments:


.@POTUS on tax reform: “I would like very much to see it be done this year.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 16, 2017

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