In preparation for what is likely to be a challenging debate, Republicans are dedicating each day during the August recess to a different reason why the country needs tax reform.
Republicans have identified tax reform as a major policy focus since securing the presidency, and it is now set to be the top focus after the ill-fated heath care debate. The GOP wants its tax reform plan to be big and ambitious in a way that hasn’t been done since the last major reform in 1986. Some have begun laying the groundwork knowing the debate is likely to be intense after the recess break.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady is one of the lawmakers preparing for the upcoming fight. He has been providing other lawmakers with talking points and has been a vocal advocate on television. Brady is also dedicating each of the 31 days during the recess break to a different reason tax reform is needed.
“Chairman Brady and members of the Ways and Means Committee will be making the case for bold, pro-growth tax reform throughout the month of August to Americans of all walks of life,” Emily Schillinger, communications director of the House of the Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement to InsideSources.
The House Ways and Means Committee used the first day, Tuesday, to highlight how the current tax system has been a drag on the economy. The second day was dedicated to showing the tax code is too complex. The upcoming days will focus on families, job creators, and the economy. The campaign is also symbolic in that its been 31 years since the last time the tax code has been reformed in a major way.
“They are working to clearly communicate how today’s broken tax code makes life harder for all Americans – and why it’s time now for Washington to move forward on reforms that will create jobs and grow paychecks in every community,” Schillinger said. “Members will speaking about this topic at a variety of public events in their districts and across the country.”
Republicans have an uphill climb after the recent failure to achieve another policy goal. Republican leaders tried multiple times to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act without much luck.
The 31-day campaign is merely part of a larger effort to prepare for the upcoming tax reform debate. The Hill reported that party leaders are moving beyond healthcare even as some lawmakers are hoping to keep trying. Republican leaders know they can’t afford another setback.
Newsmax added that leadership is carefully preparing on tax reform in the hopes of avoiding another failure. Politico reports they are also getting support from outside groups who plan to spend millions to promote reform.
Republican leaders have already dropped the border adjustment tax, which was a major sticking point among some party members. The border adjustment tax is a value added tax levied on imported goods. It is applied when a product is produced in a foreign country but sold domestically.
President Donald Trump promised to simplify the tax code and reduce rates to help spur economic growth. The administration released an early summary of its plan April 26. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. Kevin Brady introduced a blueprint last year which mirrored many of the same ideas.
The House Ways and Means Committee discussed the need for tax reform during a hearing in May. Business leaders highlighted how tax reform could spur economic growth generally. The hearing also focused on how the United States has increasingly become less competitive globally since its last major tax overhaul.
The Business Roundtable found in a survey that business owners would begin investing more back into their companies and employees if the tax system was reformed successfully. The National Taxpayers Union Foundation found in a 2015 study that the economy loses $233.8 billion and 6.1 billion hours of lost productivity annually because of the complex tax code.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found in an analysis that many other developed countries have been moving towards a more competitive tax system for over a decade. The United States, however, has done little to its tax code to stay competitive during that time.