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 BradyOvernight Finance: Dems explore lawsuit against Trump | Full-court press for Trump tax plan | Clock ticks down to spending deadline Trump officials stage full-court press for tax plan Senate's No. 2 Republican: Border tax 'probably dead' 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 PaulRand PaulRand Paul to teach a course on dystopias in George Washington University Destructive 'fat cat' tax law a complete flop. It's time to repeal it. Trump must take action in Macedonia to fix damage done by Obama and Clinton 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 RyanDems, not trusting Trump, want permanent ObamaCare fix Kudlow: Trump's tax plan 'a home run' Samantha Bee roasts Trump at mock correspondents' dinner MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellStudy: Trump tops recent GOP presidents in signing bills in first 100 days Senate passes stopgap funding bill to avert shutdown Let’s never talk about a government shutdown — ever again 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.