Rep. Brady Says House Aiming Major Tax Bill For Trump’s First 100 Days

ENLARGE House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said a tax rewrite is at the top of the agenda for 2017. Photo: Getty Images

House Republican staffers are already writing the major tax-code overhaul they plan to advance during the first 100 days of the Trump administration and are making “great progress,” said the senior GOP lawmaker leading the effort.

A tax rewrite is at the top of the party’s agenda for 2017, said Rep. Kevin Brady (R., Texas), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Staff members are already writing the parts that have consensus and gathering feedback from businesses and other groups on the blueprint the party released earlier this year.

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“Because Mr. Trump has made it clear he wants to do tax reform in the first 100 days, House Republicans are going to be ready,” Mr. Brady said in an interview Wednesday. “I’m confident that this blueprint will grow the economy significantly, simplify the tax code for families and lower their tax burden and bust up the IRS, redesign it so it’s focused on customer service.”

The committee staff is already working on two pieces that may prove particularly tricky. One is a border-adjustable corporate tax, which would be imposed on imports and removed from exports. That can be quite complicated for banks and insurance companies.

President-elect Donald Trump has promised big tax cuts for individuals and businesses, and with a Republican-controlled Congress, he is likely to implement many of his policies. WSJ's Shelby Holliday explains. Photo: Getty

On his White House run, Donald Trump pushed back hard against his own party, took on the Democratic establishment, and opted for bluntness over diplomacy — it was an approach that voters in 2016 embraced whole-heartedly. Photo: Getty.

The second idea is taxing noncorporate business income at a lower rate than other individual income. Currently, both are taxed the same way on the owners’ individual returns. Mr. Brady said his team is working on a “final design.”

The House plan and Mr. Trump’s plan are similar, in that they both lower individual and business tax rates, repeal the estate tax and rely on assumed economic growth to cover part or all of their budgetary costs.

There are differences that will need to be worked out, and Republicans will need to figure out whether they want to attempt to advance it through the Senate using a procedure that would avoid the need for any Democratic votes.

“It’s the only way it can be done. There’s no way there can be a bill that’s acceptable to Republicans that can get 60 votes in the Senate,” said Republican tax lobbyist Kenneth Kies, who said Republicans would quickly overcome any internal disagreements. “If they don’t get some significant stuff done between now and the midterm elections, they’re going to get their heads handed to them.”

Write to Richard Rubin at

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