McConnell: No path for tax reform

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRand's reversal advances Pompeo After Dems stood against Pompeo, Senate’s confirmation process needs a revamp Overnight Cybersecurity: Senators eye path forward on election security bill | Facebook isn't winning over privacy advocates | New hacks target health care MORE (R-Ky.) on Thursday all but declared tax reform dead in the current session of Congress.

The Republican said the insistence of President Obama and Senate Democrats on raising revenue through the process has "stymied" the attempt to simplify the code.

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"Honestly I don't see how we get there," McConnell said. "It's pretty clear that the president has even walked away now from the commitment he made to us at lunch that corporate tax reform would be revenue-neutral."

Obama in a speech in Tennessee this week proposed what he termed a new "grand bargain" on corporate tax reform that cuts rates, but also allows for increased spending on infrastructure. Republicans quickly dismissed it as a phony compromise.

"I think we're stymied by the desire of the majority to raise taxes again," McConnell said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidAfter Dems stood against Pompeo, Senate’s confirmation process needs a revamp GOP poised to advance rules change to speed up Trump nominees Dems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination MORE (D-Nev.) said Thursday that any tax reform would have to raise "significant" levels of revenue to be viable. He did not say it had to raise a specific amount, but said the $975 billion over 10 years outlined in the Senate budget is a good start.

Finance Committee Chairman Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusGreen Party puts Dem seat at risk in Montana Business groups worried about Trump's China tariffs plan Farmers hit Trump on trade in new ad MORE (D-Mont.), who is driving the tax reform effort in the Senate, opposed the budget in part because he did not want to be tied to a revenue raising number.

"We start with Sen. Murray's number from the Budget Committee — whether we wind up there remains to be seen," Reid told reporters. "It has to be significant revenue."

Reid blamed the GOP for blocking tax reform.

"Unless the Republican party becomes functional again ... we're here slugging it out about nothing," Reid said.