Conservative groups step up tax reform push

Conservative groups step up tax reform push
© Greg Nash

Conservative groups and activists are stepping up their push for tax reform, arguing to key GOP lawmakers and administration officials that passage of legislation is key for the midterm elections.

"There is broad consensus on the need for tax reform," more than 80 conservatives wrote in a letter dated Thursday. "With the 2018 midterm elections in sight, it is also crucial that bold policies keeping the promises made to the American people are realized soon."

The letter comes one day after plans were announced for the "Big Six" tax-reform negotiators to release a framework document during the week of Sept. 25.

The conservative groups' letter was addressed to the members of the "Big Six": Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanGOP rep: Virginia defeat 'a referendum' on Trump administration After Texas shooting, lawmakers question whether military has systemic reporting problem Pence: Praying 'takes nothing away' from trying to figure out causes behind mass shooting MORE (R-Wis.), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyOvernight Health Care: Initial Senate tax bill doesn't repeal ObamaCare mandate | 600K sign up for ObamaCare in first four days | Feds crack down on opioid trafficking Overnight Finance: Senate GOP unveils different approach on tax reform | House tax bill heads to floor | House leaders eye vote next week | AT&T denies pressure for CNN sale GOP tax bill clears hurdle, heads to House floor MORE (R-Texas), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell expects Paul to return to Senate next week Former Hill staff calls for mandatory harassment training Gaming the odds of any GOP tax bill getting signed into law MORE (R-Ky.), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchRead Senate GOP's tax bill Senate panel to start tax bill markup on Monday Senate set for clash with House on tax bill MORE (R-Utah), Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOvernight Finance: GOP criticism of tax bill grows, but few no votes | Highlights from day two of markup | House votes to overturn joint-employer rule | Senate panel approves North Korean banking sanctions Fitch Ratings: GOP tax plan will hike deficits, be 'revenue negative' Live coverage: Day two of the Ways and Means GOP tax bill markup MORE and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.

The signers of the letter said that tax reform is needed because the current tax code "serves well-connected special interests, not hard working American families."

They said it's important for legislation to lower tax rates across the board, simplify the tax code, repeal the estate tax and establish a "territorial" tax system that doesn't tax U.S. companies' foreign earnings. 

"2017 represents an important opportunity to provide financial security to hardworking taxpayers by signing tax reform into law," the conservative groups wrote. "We applaud the work that each of you have already taken to ensure tax reform is enacted in 2017 and stand ready to continue working with you in the second half of the year."

Groups that signed the letter include Americans for Tax Reform, which is led by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, and Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by wealthy GOP donors Charles and David Koch.

The letter follows another letter from more than 20 conservative groups last week urging House members to back a tax overhaul.