Tags: bob corker | tax reform | loopholes

Corker: 'All in' on Closing Loopholes, Tax Reform

Image: Corker: 'All in' on Closing Loopholes, Tax Reform
Chairman Bob Corker (Alex Brandon/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 26 October 2017 10:24 AM

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, following a week of sparring with President Donald Trump, insisted he backs extensive tax reform legislation.

"I'm all in," the Tennessee Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Thursday, while discussing extensive plans for closing several of the nation's tax loopholes. "This is going to be, if we do it right, it's going to be the biggest tax rewrite since 1936."

Trump, during a flurry of tweets earlier this week, accused Corker of wanting to "fight tax cuts," but on Thursday, the senator, long regarded as a deficit hawk, said he does believe the reform measure, including closing $4 trillion in loopholes, can be achieved and successful.

"We'll have to close $4 trillion of special interests, and some of these, by the way, have been in the code for years," Corker said.

He explained that the Senate passed a budget giving $1.5 trillion headroom to its tax writers, with a "half a trillion of that to align us with current policy."

"What we did in the Senate was pass something that allows for $1 trillion in dynamic scoring," Corker said. "It's got to be achieved or people like [Freedom Caucus Chairman] Mike Meadows and myself likely would not support it. But I think it can be achieved."

Closing the loopholes will be tough work, he added.

"People keep focusing on the Senate budget and not understanding that the real work is getting ready to take place," Corker said.

He explained the tax writers will be writing out $4 trillion in benefits to individuals and businesses, "to reform the code to make up 80 percent of what it's going to take for use to actually do what we want to do to get corporate rates down to 20 percent."

Corker admitted he's excited about the work, but he does "see some fear in people's eyes" over the coming loophole cuts.

The senator said he did not wish to list many of the upcoming cuts, as he wants to give tax writers the chance to lay them out all at once. However, one of the cuts is for $1.2 to $1.3 billion in state and local taxes, he said.

"I had a great meeting the other day with our tax writing folks, who I have a lot of respect for," Corker said. "They've gotten about $3.6 trillion of tough stuff that has to be done to close loopholes. They're still trying to get another $400 billion. When they do that, they're getting into the quick, getting into some really, really tough measures that are going to be highly controversial. If you don't do it, you don't achieve what's been laid out in this tax reform package."

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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, following a week of sparring with President Donald Trump, insisted he backs extensive tax reform legislation.
bob corker, tax reform, loopholes
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2017-24-26
Thursday, 26 October 2017 10:24 AM
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