Congressional Climate April 25, 2017
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4/25/2017: President Trump Signs Financial Services Executive Orders
Trump’s 15% Corporate Tax Push Sets Stage for Clash With Ryan
President Donald Trump’s plan to slash the corporate tax rate to 15 percent is setting up a showdown with House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has called for a tax plan to pay for itself.
Trump intends to lay out broad tax principles on Wednesday, including cutting the federal corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent, a White House official said. A rate that low would make it difficult to find ways to increase revenue or eliminate deductions to offset it — that means a plan wouldn’t be revenue-neutral, or permanent.
The Ryan-backed House GOP blueprint released in June calls for replacing the 35 percent rate with a 20 percent rate applied to companies’ domestic sales and imported goods, while exempting their exports. Ryan has questioned whether a 15 percent rate can realistically be paid for, and he and Kevin Brady, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, have said they’re committed to revenue neutrality.
Disconnect: Trump, GOP not on same page
President Trump is on a different page than Republican leaders in Congress just days away from a possible government shutdown.
Trump and the White House are pressuring Congress to include funding to build the president’s signature wall on the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a bill to keep the government open past Friday.
GOP leaders, worried their party will be blamed for a shutdown and realizing they’ll need votes from Democrats to get a stopgap measure to Trump’s desk, have said funds for the wall should be dealt with in a supplemental spending bill or as part of next year’s appropriations process.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) last month even noted that construction on the wall couldn’t begin soon.
“The big chunk of money for the wall, really, is … next year’s appropriations, because they literally can’t start construction even this quickly,” he told “CBS This Morning.”
Experts say we’ve likely avoided a shutdown – for now
Congress has until midnight Friday to pass a spending bill to keep the government open through September or face a government shutdown. A few days ago, budget experts The Fix spoke to thought it was 50-50 the government would shut down. On Tuesday, they say it almost certainly won’t.
The difference: President Trump has backed off his request for $1.4 billion to start building his border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Or rather, he has postponed his request until the next budget battle, when Congress must pass a spending bill for all of 2018 by Oct. 1.
If a shutdown has been averted this time, it’s because most players, like Trump, have pushed their demands off until the next time there’s a budget debate. And that means the likelihood of a shutdown in September has only increased.
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