US Tax Reform Overhaul

Paul Ryan, the US House Speaker, formulated a tax reform blueprint as a framework for first important tax overhaul from 1986. However, it seems that his approach will be discarded with a number of other solutions arising from Congress, White House and Senate. Similar to the Trump healthcare bill, the tax blueprint of House Republicans stems from a legislative agenda crafted by Ryan during the presidential election campaign in 2016. Ryan named this document “A Better Way”.

Derail chances

Mark Mulvaney, the budget director of the White House, minced no words when he said that the House can do whatever it can. He asserted that the White House will formulate its own policies, adding that a tax plan approved by Donald Trump will be taken to the Hill and try to get it approved. Senate Republicans, on their part, are reviewing their own 2015 tax package. The latter was crafted by the former chairman of House Ways and Means Committee, Dave Camp. The package will be the basic template for own tax legislation.

House Freedom Caucus members, a number of conservative lawmakers which derailed the healthcare bill formulated by Ryan, have suggested that it is acceptable to expand the deficit so that new taxes could be avoided. A business lobbyist said that for Republicans, the Ryan blueprint was the ideal one, written to satisfy the presidential election campaign. The GOP is now grappling with the reality of a divided Congress along with a president who is desperate for a win on this signature issue.

Tax overhaul in the balance

According to analysts, Congressional aides and lobbyists, the changing focus may delay a tax bill package until later in 2017 or even 2018. This may foil efforts by Republicans to score legislative victories for President Trump within August. This follows March's failed effort to repeal and also replace the Affordable Care Act.

Ryan for his part, has not yet surrendered the idea of making an agreement with the Senate leaders and White House. Ashlee Strong, his spokeswoman, said that the intention was always to gather everyone around a united GOP plan. Tax experts and business lobbyists warn that loss of concentration may be a death knell for tax overhaul effort, in case the blueprint made by the House does not appear on the political stage.  Lawmakers holding a seat on House Ways and Means Committee say that the viability of a blueprint may become clearer in May- the time when the committee will hold a number of public hearings.

Leave a Comment