Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Cohn, Mnuchin Visit Capitol Hill; Border Adjustment Tax Looks Dead

The pieces of the crony tax reform are being put into place in the background while focus continues on actions and comments of President Trump on other topics.

Today, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn had meetings with Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee, GOP congressional leaders and tax-writing committee chairmen, and members of the centrist Tuesday Group.

 Additionally, Mnuchin attended a lunch with Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee.

“We’re having listening sessions, we’re taking feedback from both senators and House members and we’re taking their input as we said we would,” Cohn told reporters Wednesday afternoon. He called the conversations “constructive.”

When asked if the White House and lawmakers have decided whether to do tax reform or tax cuts, Cohn said, “We’re doing both.”

According to The Hill, one topic that came up during Mnuchin and Cohn’s meetings with lawmakers was House Speaker Paul Ryan’s border adjustment taxs.

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) told a New York Times reporter following the Finance Committee meeting that Mnuchin and Cohn said they're trying to dissuade House Republicans on the border-adjustment provision. Thank the heavens! It's a horrific sneaky limited VAT.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said after another meeting that “no decisions were really made [on the border tax], other than there’s concern.”

Hatch called the border-adjustment proposal “a unique idea that has a long way to go.”


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