NEW YORK CITY — US President Donald Trump’s fall push for the Republican tax reform effort kicks off on Wednesday (Thursday morning, AEST) in Springfield, Missouri.
And according to Ben White and Tara Palmeri at Politico, Trump’s message will paint the tax reform policy as a populist change designed to achieve the goal of “unrigging the economy.”
The Trump administration has pushed for months that the plan would aim to bring down taxes for all while closing loopholes, but Trump’s speech will have a decidedly populist tone.
The Stephen Miller-crafted speech will also feature phrases like “win again” and promise to “jump start” the American economy, Politico reported.
In terms of policy details, the speech will reportedly be light. That seems to be, in part, because there are few concrete details to present at this point.
White House officials, like National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, have said the administration is turning over the process of hammering out a plan to the congressional committees in charge of taxes.
“In the next three or four weeks the tax bill will be written in the Ways and Means Committee and Congress is going to own the writing of legislation — that is key,” Cohn told the Financial Times on Thursday.
So while there appeared to be some broad agreements between Trump administration and congressional leaders, what ends up in legislation remains unclear.
Opening up the process to more than just the so-called big six — Cohn, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady, and Senate Finance Committee chair Orrin Hatch — also opens the negotiations to industries interested in protecting favourable deductions and the concerns of rank-and-file members.
According to Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur, major planks of the tax plan have not been nailed down.
While selling the as-of-yet unfinished tax plan appears to be the next big push from Trump and the White House, it is far from the top of the list for Congress’ to-do list next month.
Not only will the legislature have to deal with the relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey, but it must also deal with the debt ceiling, avoiding a government shutdown, and a slew of agency reauthorizations before the end of the month.
Most experts doubt that Trump’s aggressive timeline for tax reform — the administration is targeting the end of 2017 for passage — is feasible.
“There will likely be months of committee hearings, lobbying by affected groups, and behind-the-scenes horse trading before final tax legislation emerges,” wrote JPMorgan economists Michael Feroli, Jay Barry, and Jesse Edgerton in a note to clients on Tuesday.
“Our baseline forecast continues to pencil in a modest, temporary, deficit-financed tax cut to be passed in 2Q2018 through the reconciliation process, avoiding the need to attract 60 votes in the Senate.”
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