White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow reportedly is playing a lead role as White House officials and congressional Republicans have begun early talks on a new package of tax reductions and economic growth measures.
The move comes amid pressure from President Trump, “who is agitating to announce a new tax cut proposal heading into the 2020 election,” the Washington Post reported.
The Post said the discussions “are preliminary and far from the decision stage,” citing officials involved.
The Post said such talks “reflect Trump’s desire to refocus the economic narrative amid some signs of a slowing economy, and after the major Republican tax cut package of 2017 failed to produce enduring economic benefits or political gains” for the GOP.
“We are having those discussions with the White House, we’ll be engaging with them further, and we’ll have discussions with Republicans, too, in the House about what we think the most pro-growth elements can be the most pro-innovation. And I think the key is to make permanent some of the key provisions as well in tax reform,” Rep. Kevin Brady,R-Tex., the top Republican on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, told the Post.
Kudlow said last month that the Trump administration plans to unveil a tax cut plan in mid-2020, saying it would be targeted to giving significant relief to the middle class.
Speaking to reporters at a retreat for Republican lawmakers, Kudlow offered no details on what he has termed “Tax Cuts 2.0,” Reuters explained.
“We will gather together the best ideas from the Hill (Congress), the administration and outside folks to provide a significant new round of middle class tax relief,” Kudlow said last month, adding, “This is not a recession measure at all.”
Kudlow, who is director of the National Economic Council, did not specify how the tax cuts would be fashioned or how deep they might be.
Kudlow said the initiative would probably be rolled out “sometime in the middle of next year,” which would be just months before the November 2020 presidential and congressional elections.
Democrats have roundly criticized the 2017 Republican tax cut law as being heavily skewed toward the wealthy. Democrats opposed the measure and won enough seats in last November’s mid-term elections to take control of the House of Representatives from Republicans.
Talk of a payroll tax cut that has been circulating also faces opposition from some Republicans, who fear worsening an already deep U.S. debt problem. Democrats also fear it would contribute to a drop in revenue for Social Security and Medicare retirement and health-care programs.
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