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Legislative Calendar Could Affect the Prospect of Tax Reform This Year

 

President Trump recently stated that he would like for Congress to focus on overhauling the tax code in September. While the Trump administration would prefer that the effort not add to the national debt and instead be revenue neutral, an administration official stressed that the top priority would be cutting taxes. The administration has outlined a broad plan that would cut tax rates for businesses and streamline the tax system for individuals.

Trump has pressed for quicker action in Congress, but his administration has also had to deal with the ongoing investigations into Russian interference in last year’s election. Furthermore, Republicans already have plenty on their plate outside of taxes, including the looming debt ceiling fight, healthcare reform bill and FY 2018 appropriations bills. The fight over raising the debt ceiling will likely take priority over everything else either before Congress adjourns for August recess or shortly after Congress returns during the first week of September. Also, the Senate is currently crafting its version of a healthcare bill in hopes that an agreement can be reached before the August recess. Lastly, both the House and Senate have yet to even begin consideration of the FY 2018 appropriations bills.

The complicated and busy Congressional agenda, combined with distractions such as the investigations into Russian interference in the election, could threaten Congress’s ability to pass comprehensive tax reform legislation before the new year. However, Republican members remain optimistic that they will accomplish everything on the agenda.

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