USA president Donald Trump to launch series of tax reforms

Adjust Comment Print

President Donald Trump says he wants to work with Republicans and Democrats alike to "bring back Main Street" by reducing the tax burden on companies and workers. She's gotta make that commitment.

Cohn, whose work directly impacts tax code changes, publicly upbraided the president last week over his comments following a race-riot death in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"It could be an excellent touchstone for lawmakers as they return after Labor Day, laying out a marker saying there's an urgency for this to be among the first orders of business when we return", said Representative Peter Roskam, Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means tax policy subcommittee.

Some Republicans have complained that Trump's public efforts are coming late in the legislative year and worry his speech on Wednesday could veer into issues that might overshadow tax reform, including USA race relations, North Korea and his differences with Republicans in Congress. "Democrats believe that not one penny of tax cuts should go to the 1%. Or as the President would say, we're going to be the great jobs magnet of the world again".

Trump's speech kicked off in earnest the effort of selling tax reform, which Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last week he hopes to get to the President's desk by the end of the year. When you argue for things like "lower rates" and a "simpler" tax code, that can mean a lot of different things to different people.

But Trump's mission on Wednesday, administration officials said, was to frame the debate, not lay out a detailed proposal.

That effort comes as he and his administration have raised the need for tax reform in fits and starts since the early days of his presidency.

Perhaps the biggest question that remains is how to offset the cost of tax reform.

Harvey threatens more U.S. oil refineries after heavy rains
Gas prices are expected to rise in Canada this week as the hurricane has shut down many Texas Gulf Coast refineries. But October Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange LCOV7, -0.02% rose 12 cents, or 0.2% to $52.55 a barrel.

Now, the White House faces a jam-packed fall legislative calendar that includes deadlines to avert a government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling - and now added pressure to pass a disaster assistance package for recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

"I share the President's goal of wanting this endeavor to be bipartisan", said Utah Sen.

But while Trump's boiling frustrations with other top staffers have recently led to a spate of high-profile exits from the West Wing, multiple sources close to the White House said Cohn appears unlikely to share that same fate.

One person close to the White House says that while Trump has grown annoyed with Cohn, he has come to the realization that he can not afford to lose additional top staffers, particularly those with active roles in key elements of his agenda.

But Trump on Wednesday did acknowledge two members of his staff, his chief of staff John Kelly and daughter Ivanka Trump, one of his top advisers.

Sanders acknowledged that Cohn has made his concerns known to Trump before the interview, but insisted they remained in "regular contact" and suggested the relationship had not soured. "The president has made very clear this is a top priority for him, for his administration, and Gary is one of the people leading the charge".

Trump owes his November election victory partly to his ability to get working-class Americans to support a range of business policy positions, including his call for slashing the USA corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent. It also called for income tax brackets to be set at 10%, 25% and 35% - the latter for the wealthiest Americans, down from the current 39.6% rate. They're both working hard and extremely committed to providing tax relief for middle-class America.

As a member of the "Big Six" group of Trump administration officials and Republican congressional leaders, Cohn has been a crucial link between the President and Capitol Hill, working to craft a tax reform proposal that fits within Trump's vision and could earn broad GOP support.