McConnell signals Republican-only path on tax reform
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden: A good coach knows when to change up the team McConnell says he made 'inadvertent omission' in voting remarks amid backlash These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 MORE (R-Ky.) is signaling that Republicans will need to go it alone on tax reform ahead of a closed-door meeting with top Trump administration officials.   

"I think it's pretty clear that we're going to have to use a reconciliation vehicle, because today's Democratic party is very different from the Democratic party in the '80s. ... Regretfully we don't expect to have any Democratic involvement on [tax reform]," he told reporters on Tuesday. 
 
He added that congressional Democrats "seem to be preoccupied with wealth transfer. ...That's unrelated to having a tax, set of tax laws, that promote growth." 
 
Under reconciliation, Republicans would only need 51 votes to clear tax reform through the Senate, allowing them to bypass a potential Democratic filibuster. Republicans have a 52-seat majority. 
 
However, using reconciliation could also put limits on the tax reform bill. Legislation that adds to the deficit after a 10-year window could not be permanent under reconciliation rules. 
 
Tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush's administration through reconciliation expired after 10 years, and some of those lower rates were eventually eliminated. 
 
 
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Trump's tax plan will reportedly include infrastructure spending in an effort to attract Democratic support. Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerVoting rights failed in the Senate — where do we go from here? Forced deadline spurs drastic tactic in Congress Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans MORE (D-N.Y.) declined to comment on potentially linking the two issues, saying he would wait to see the administration's proposal.
 
McConnell reiterated over the recent two-week recess that he expects infrastructure and tax reform will be moved separately, with the administration sending a separate infrastructure plan to Congress later this year.
 
Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSmall ranchers say Biden letting them get squeezed These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Watch: GOP leaders discuss Biden's first year in office MORE (R-S.D.), the No. 3 Senate Republican, also said on Tuesday that he doesn't expect infrastructure will be included in the administration's tax proposal. 
 
The tax proposal is expected to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, a move that could spark some GOP criticism because it would add to the deficit, something Ryan has warned against.  
 
"I can tell you my preference is that we treat businesses of all types similarly. Most businesses are not corporations," McConnell told reporters on Tuesday when asked about the cut. 
 
He added that tax reform has a lot "lots of moving parts."
 
"I'm sure everything will be floated in the context of comprehensive tax reform. ... I don't think the rumors are worth anything at this point," he told reporters.