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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFlorida Democrat hits administration over small business loan rollout The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Dybul interview; Boris Johnson update Schumer says nation will 'definitely' need new coronavirus relief bill 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 SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer names coronavirus czar candidates in plea to White House Democrats struggle to keep up with Trump messaging on coronavirus Schumer: Fired inspector general will be remembered as a 'hero' 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.
 
 
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.