Spicer: White House 'driving the train' on tax reform

Spicer: White House 'driving the train' on tax reform

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that the Trump administration is "driving the train" on tax reform.

The administration will work with Congress on tax reform, but President Trump has made it very clear that "this is a huge priority for him, something that he feels very passionately about," Spicer said in a press briefing.

The press secretary's comments come as Congress shifts its attention to tax reform since legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare was unsuccessful.

When asked about the timing of tax reform, Spicer said, "I think part of this is going to be dependent on the degree to which we can come to consensus on a lot of big issues." 

Spicer mentioned Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's comments that he would like to see tax reform legislation enacted by August. The press secretary said that many people on Trump's team are likely to play a role in tax reform, including Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and members of the White House legislative affairs team.

Spicer also said that the current tax code is "outdated" and the business tax system is "uncompetitive."

"There's a reason that companies are leaving America to go to other places," he said. 

In Congress, House Republicans have been taking the lead on tax reform and are working on a bill based on a plan they put out last June. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyHouse passes tariff-relief bill GOP may increase IRS’s budget Overnight Finance: Congress barrels toward another shutdown crisis | Canada worries Trump will withdraw from NAFTA | Blue-state Republicans push tax law changes | Chamber CEO calls out Bannon, Warren MORE (R-Texas) told Fox News on Sunday that it wouldn't make sense for the administration to release its own tax bills, since congressional Republicans and the White House have a lot in common on the topic.

Brady told reporters Monday that he thinks "it's critical for the White House and Republicans in Congress to agree on pro-growth tax reform together and move forward together as well."

Spicer also said that Trump would be willing to get input from Democrats on tax reform.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration White House: Trump remarks didn't derail shutdown talks Schumer defends Durbin after GOP senator questions account of Trump meeting MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday warned Republicans against trying to pass tax legislation that is focused on wealthy individuals and big corporations.

"The White House says tax reform isn’t partisan," he said. "But it surely will be if they only propose massive tax cuts for the wealthy."