President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the 20% corporate tax rate proposed in the newly released Republican tax reform plan is “very much a red line” and he will not go higher.
Trump long ago promised to decrease the rate to 15% for corporations, but a nine-page outline released by the “Big Six” tax negotiators in the White House and Congress called for rate of 20%. By making it slightly above the president’s originally desired level, it will make the budgetary maths easier.
Trump, however, said he would not allow the rate to move higher as the discussions over the plan go forward.
“I fact, I wanted to start at 15 so that we got to 20,” Trump told reporters before boarding Marine One on Wednesday. “It just, the numbers were, 15 was so low, we didn’t take in the revenue.”
Most Wall Street analysts believe that the corporate tax rate will eventually have to be increased to the mid- to high-20s for the tax reform plan to qualify under Senate rules.
Republicans will attempt to pass tax legislation by a process known as budget reconciliation, which would allow it to move on a party-line vote without being subject to a Democratic filibuster. It also subjects the bill to a series of budgetary qualifications, including not increasing the deficit outside of 10 years.
“Twenty is my number, so I’m not negotiating that number,” Trump said. “I’m not going to negotiate.”
Trump also claimed that 20% was his goal all along, despite advocating for 15% as late as Tuesday.
“That’s the number I wanted to get to,” the president said. “I wanted to start at 15 to get there. We really had to start there because of the complexity of the numbers, but 20 is a perfect number.”
Watch Trump’s comments:
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