Tax reform legislation must be passed this year in order to support the expectations of U.S. consumers and investors, and it's "realistic" to think that it can be done even with the current political divisions that are occurring, Sens. John Barrasso and David Perdue agreed Monday.
But first, Congress needs to get past the distractions facing it.
"It takes a year-and-a-half before these changes take effect in the economy," Barrasso, R-Wyoming, said while on a CNBC "Squawk Box" panel, where he appeared with Perdue, R-Ga..
"I think it is realistic, and we need to do it. We want a strong and healthy economy."
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Tax reform, he continued, will get more people working and bring jobs back from over seas.
"I think we need to do repatriation and get to a territorial tax system," Barrasso said. There's a lot of money sitting overseas. We want to lower rates, make it simpler so our goals are there. We have to get through health care first because there are two things we can do without Democrat support. One is health care and one is tax reform."
Barrasso would like to see tax reform happen in a bipartisan way, but Democrats have said they are not interested. The senator, though, said the measure can still be passed with a united Republican Senate through the use of reconciliation.
Meanwhile, Perdue pointed out that consumer and CEO confidence are on the rise, but it's time to "break some eggs" in Washington and change the nation's direction.
"The people in the real world know what needs to be done up here," Perdue said. "It's the people in the bubble in Washington that are having a tough time."
Barrasso agreed, saying that the people from his state "want us to do the things that President Trump promised that we would do."
Those include healthcare reform, infrastructure, and tax reform, Barrasso said, but first, "we need to get the distractions out of the way and and get the job done."
"Washington is based on running to the latest distraction," Perdue agreed. "What we have are some long-term systemic problems, the debt, the military recap but the president put out four priorities this year. One was health care, second was tax issues, but regulations are a big item this year as well as the supreme court.
"And I would say we're making progress on the regulatory front and we did get [Supreme Court Justice Neil] Gorsuch confirmed. So there is some progress. We've got some heavy lifting yet to come with taxes, and now with this healthcare thing."
Barrasso said, "You do worry about the distractions."
"This is infrastructure week in Washington. We have so many people coming to town. There are hearings this Wednesday on the committee I chair with Elaine Chao, talking about infrastructure."
However, talk about the infrastructure aren't to the level needed to fix the nation's crumbling roads and bridges, said Barrasso.
"I just want to get away from the distractions and get back to getting the business done, which is what I hear about in Wyoming every week," Barrasso said.
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