President Donald Trump pushing for a definitive timeline for Republican overhaul of the U.S. tax code, said Tuesday—he hopes tax reform can be accomplished by Thanksgiving—with final approval by year-end.
“I want the House to pass a bill by Thanksgiving. I want all of the people standing by my side when we get ready to sign by Christmas — hopefully before Christmas,” he said while meeting with leaders and various interest groups at the White House.
The bill’s passage would be the “biggest tax event in the history of our country,” Trump said, calling the opportunity to overhaul the U.S. tax system “historic.”
Trump made his remarks after meeting with business leaders including the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Business Roundtable.
President Donald Trump speaks to business leaders about tax reform in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington on Oct 31. Photo credit: Alex Wong / Getty Images
When pressed about the possibility of phasing in corporate tax rate reductions, Trump responded, “We’re not looking for that, hopefully not.”
The timeline on the tax bill, is similar to Rep. Kevin Brady’s—the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee and chief author of the House version of the tax legislation.
A push to present the bill in detail to the public is set for Wednesday, with a markup of the bill scheduled for Monday. Similar to Trump, Brady is pushing to get the bill passed before the weeklong Thanksgiving recess begins November 17.
Isaac Boltansky, an analyst at the research firm Compass Point, on Tuesday expressed pessimism for Trump’s timeline.
“Top lawmakers continue to outline a wholly unrealistic timeline for action this year,” Boltansky wrote in a note, “which sets the stage for disappointment in the markets when Congress invariably falls short of these deadlines.”
Chris Krueger, an analyst at Cowen Washington Research Group, said the timeline sets up a serious time crunch.
“Any slippage in the House ‘bull case’ time-frame will very likely result in any type of tax bill being delayed to 2018,” the analyst wrote in a note to clients on Monday. “The rush for the pre-Thanksgiving passage is largely due to the upcoming December 8 Continuing Resolution expiration (without 60 Senate votes, the government would shut down) and the fact that there are now only five full legislative weeks left in the year.”
Trump is scheduled to depart for several countries in Asia on Friday. Some White House officials will remain in Washington [while the president is overseas], to work on the tax overhaul effort, including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and top economic advisor Gary Cohn.
House Republicans are expected to unveil a draft their long-anticipated tax bill Wednesday.
By LeNora Millen 10-31-17
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