Brady makes the case for revenue-neutral tax reform

Brady makes the case for revenue-neutral tax reform
© Greg Nash

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyPelosi blasts California Republicans for supporting tax bill Kudos to Rep. Brady for preserving investment incentives in tax bill Democrats, don't be complicit in GOP tax plan MORE (R-Texas) made the case for revenue-neutral tax reform on Wednesday, following a report that some advisers to President Trump and lawmakers are potentially interested in enacting tax cuts that aren't offset.

"I believe, both the most pro-growth approach we can take, and the fiscally responsible approach we can take, is to break even with the budget, counting on just solid, verifiable economic growth," he said at a Financial Services Roundtable event.

Politico reported Wednesday that some Trump aides are questioning the need for tax reform to maintain current revenue levels. Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulCongress must end American support for Saudi war in Yemen Black men get longer prison sentences than white men for same crimes: study Sarah Palin on sexual harassment: 'People know I'm probably packing' so they 'don't mess with me' MORE (R-Ky.) has also advocated for tax cuts that aren't paid for.

A tax-reform bill that increases the deficit would contrast with goals expressed by GOP congressional leaders. Both House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDem: Ex-lawmaker tried to pin me to elevator door and kiss me Two months later: Puerto Rico doesn’t have power, education or economy running again On Capitol Hill, few name names on sexual harassment MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAlabama election has GOP racing against the clock McConnell PAC demands Moore return its money Klobuchar taking over Franken's sexual assault bill MORE (R-Ky.) have said they want tax reform to be revenue-neutral. A revenue-neutral bill would be easier to pass under budget reconciliation, which allows bills to clear the Senate with only 50 votes.

Trump's Treasury secretary nominee, Steven Mnuchin, has also said he thinks tax reform shouldn't increase the deficit.

Brady said lawmakers have been having "terrific discussions" with Trump's team about tax reform, and the revenue-neutrality issue is part of the discussion.

The House Republican blueprint that the Ways and Means Committee is working to turn into legislation is intended to be revenue-neutral after accounting for economic growth. Brady said that the plan would result in lost tax revenue in the early years of implementation but would make up for those losses later on, so it would break even within the 10-year budget window.

"After that, it creates significant revenue going forward, which helps us with our debt and deficits," he said.