Some delays are inevitable while plans for tax reform proceed, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist said Thursday, while agreeing with President Donald Trump that healthcare reform should come first.
"Congress can delay things," Norquist said during a Fox News' "America's Newsroom" report.
"It's structured to do that. But look at the agreement that you have between the Trump campaign, the Trump administration, the Republicans in the House and Senate. The big items, the big lines in the sand on tax reform are all agreed to."
Trump's plan to take the corporate tax rate from 35 percent, "which is about the highest in the industrial world" down to 20 percent "makes us competitive with the European average of 22 percent. That's a big step in making America more competitive."
The sides are growing closer together on tax reform, Norquist said, but the pressure is mounting to keep matters from unraveling.
But the taxes built into Obamacare remain a problem, and Norquist said he wishes the House Tuesday Group and the Freedom Caucus would have come to some agreements on reform sooner.
"[They] have sat down and appear to have come to some agreements," said Norquist. "I wish they had shown up to do their homework a couple months ago instead of waiting until the bill was written and decided to edit it. We'll get there. This would have been nice to be three weeks ahead of where we are."
It does appear, though, that there is an agreement "which could have been done five months ago on some things."
That means there will be the "trillion dollars in tax reduction, the block granting of Medicaid, and the savings of over $1.2 trillion in spending," said Norquist. "All of those make tax reform infinitely easier to do and that when they get done, tax reform and the Obamacare repeal will be permanent, unlike the Bush tax cuts."
If healthcare and tax reform aren't accomplished this year, it's possible there could be a recession, said Norquist.
"That's not impossible because [former President Barack] Obama left us with the weakest recovery in recent history, less than 2 percent," said Norquist. "Reagan's was more than 4 percent."
"If there had been 'Reagan levels of growth," the 12 million people out of work would be employed, said Norquist.
"The economy right now is fragile," he said, but it has gotten "tremendous hope" through new Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and new people at the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Food and Drug Administration.
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