The White House is aiming to roll out a proposal in the coming months to make permanent the tax cuts for individuals passed in last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short said on Friday that his team has been working with House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and the Senate Finance Committee on the proposal.
He told reporters in a conference call that the White House is hoping to unveil the plan “toward the end of summer.”
The signature tax measure passed by Republicans in December permanently slashed the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and cut tax rates for individuals for eight years.
Republicans passed the tax law using a mechanism called budget reconciliation that allowed the bill to pass the Senate with only a simple-majority vote. But bills passed under reconciliation can’t increase the deficit outside of the 10-year budget window. As a result, the tax cuts for individuals and pass-through businesses expire after 2025.
Short acknowledged on Friday that the White House had achieved many of its goals on corporate tax reform, but had work to do to cement the individual tax cuts.
He declined to speak about what else might be in the tax package besides extending the individual tax cuts, saying that he didn’t want to “get ahead of our team from [the National Economic Council] and Treasury.”
“There’s more that we’d like to do and we’ll be unveiling that,” he said.
Brady told Fox Business Network
earlier this week that in addition to making the individual tax cuts permanent, lawmakers are looking at ways to incentivize families to save more money for retirement and to encourage business innovation.
“We should never settle, but ask always how do we make our tax code more family friendly and pro-growth,” he said.
A second tax-cut package is unlikely to become law this year.
Republicans don’t intend to pass legislation through reconciliation this year, so a tax bill would need 60 votes in the Senate to pass, and Republicans currently control 51 seats.
There could be political risks for Republicans to hold a vote on permanent individual tax cuts this year in the Senate, where 10 Democrats are up for reelection in states Trump carried. Several of those Democratic senators could vote to make the tax cuts permanent, undercutting Republicans’ attacks on them for voting against the original bill.
Additionally, GOP deficit hawks have expressed concerns about supporting an extension of the tax cuts without lawmakers offsetting their cost.