Mnuchin: It's still 'very viable' to get tax reform done this year

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinPence delivers coronavirus task force report to Biden Treasury imposes additional sanctions on Cuba over allegations of 'serious human rights abuse' Treasury Department sanctions inner circle of Russian agent Derkach for election interference MORE is optimistic that the Trump administration can reform the nation's tax code before the year's end, calling it a "number one priority" for President Trump.

“I think it's still very viable to get it done this year," Mnuchin told host Maria Bartiromo on Thursday during Fox Business Network’s "Mornings with Maria."


"The major blueprint has been outlined it's going to go to the committees. The committees will add to different parts of this, but we have a path to get this done this year and we're still very hopeful we can get it done," he continued.

Mnuchin’s remarks came a day after Trump stunned Washington and dismayed Republican congressional leaders by agreeing with Democrats to extend government funding and raise the debt limit until mid-December. The deal will also include passing funding to deal with recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey.

Just hours before the president's meeting with congressional leaders from both parties, House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBiden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Inauguration Day Revising the pardon power — let the Speaker and Congress have voices MORE (R-Wis.) had criticized the Democrats’ three-month proposal as "ridiculous" and "unworkable."

The Treasury chief stood by the deal, saying this temporary agreement will quell Democrats and allow the administration to stay on course with its tax-reform plan. 

“We have the funding for Harvey, we are focused on tax reform, that’s going to be the big priority for the next 90 days. We are going to work with the two committees on that and get that down to the floor so we can have a bill passed for the president to sign,” he said.

The push to tackle tax reform comes at a time when the president is looking for his first significant legislative victory, and as the GOP tries to brush off the crippling defeat of failing to pass a health-care bill that repeals and replaces ObamaCare.