House Looks To Get On Same Page As White House, Senate For Tax Reform

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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GOP members of the House Committee on Ways and Means sounded optimistic they will be able to work out a plan for tax reform that the White House and Senate can support following their tax policy retreat over the weekend.

Members are looking to bridge the divide on a number of provisions in the different blueprints to overhaul the tax code, with the border adjustment tax remaining a sticking point for a number of lawmakers and administration officials. Both Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas and Subcommittee on Tax Policy Chairman Peter Roskam of Illinois said their discussion Sunday with Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn was beneficial in working to come to a consensus.

“Today, we really talked in more detail about middle-class tax cuts and how we simplify the broken tax code for hard working Americans,” Brady told reporters Monday. “I think we made very solid progress on a wide range of ideas and solutions that we will be bringing to the table as we begin discussions with the White House and the Senate in coming weeks.”

Roskam assured discussions during the retreat have led to a “great deal of momentum,” adding talks on a number of topics are “beginning to crystallize.”

We were able to have a discussion last night with Director Cohn, which as Chairman Brady said, was very positive, and the commitment that came out of that was the drive toward a single tax reform plan,” Roskam told reporters. “So we look forward to continuing to engage with the White House and the Senate finance team and bring our ideas to the table, but ultimately to create one package that drives toward growth and simplicity and deals with base erosion and ultimately creates a permanent plan.”

Brady noted they are largely on the same page as the White House, but their chances for success are “greatly enhanced” if they are on a single plan.

“We just continue to make improvements in all of these areas,” he said. “As I’ve said before, we want to accelerate growth, because we’re going very bold, as you know, we have had a lot of feedback on bold changes like interest adjustability and border adjustability.”

Brady has long advocated for border adjustability, which taxes imports while exempting exports because it plays a pivotal role in the House GOP’s plan to offset tax cuts. Critics, including a number of administration officials, argue it could lead to consumers paying higher prices for a number of goods.

According to Brady, it is the best way to even the playing field, noting it has been a staple in almost every conservative tax code proposal.

“The burden is on us to show this is a good pro-growth solution that stops companies from leaving America and brings them back,” he said.

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