GOP Lawmakers Praise Trump Tax Outline Despite Differences

By Tara Jeffries, Morning Consult.

President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday released the core tenets of the White House tax agenda, sketching a general outline that leaves room for many more details, but already shows deviation from the House Republican blueprint.

House and Senate GOP leaders and top tax-writers applauded the principles. They “will serve as critical guideposts for Congress and the administration as we work together to overhaul the American tax system,” according to a joint statement Wednesday from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

Gaps between proposed rates on businesses and individuals still separate the White House principles from the House GOP blueprint. Trump’s agenda, unveiled in a White House briefing Wednesday afternoon, would lower the corporate tax from 35 percent to 15 percent and apply that rate to “pass-through” businesses, too. The House GOP plan would tax corporations at 20 percent, and pass-throughs — businesses taxed through their owners’ individual returns — at 25 percent.

Trump’s plan whittles the seven current tax brackets down to three, at rates of 35, 25, and 10 percent, while the House GOP plan would tax individuals at 33, 25, and 12 percent rates. The current top individual tax rate is 39.6 percent. The plan would include a “territorial” tax system, but eschews the border adjustment proposal, a key revenue raiser at the heart of the House GOP plan. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier Wednesday that the administration is discussing potential revisions to that measure.

“We are moving as quickly as we can” on moving legislation forward, Mnuchin said at the White House briefing Wednesday.