Top GOP lawmaker: Tax cuts will lower projected deficit

Top GOP lawmaker: Tax cuts will lower projected deficit
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Rep. Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversOvernight Defense: Woman accusing general of sexual assault willing to testify | Joint Chiefs pick warns against early Afghan withdrawal | Tensions rise after Iran tries to block British tanker House approves amendment to reverse transgender military ban Fed chief: Facebook crypto project poses 'serious concerns' for economy, consumers MORE (R-Ohio) on Monday defended the GOP tax cuts and argued for overhauling Medicare and Social Security to help further reduce the deficit.

Stivers told CNBC that the 2017 tax cuts will benefit the U.S. economy and lead to lower deficits than those currently projected.

"I think you'll see the economic growth will actually reduce the deficit a bit from the projected levels," Stivers said.

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That projection contrasts with an estimate from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which downgraded its growth estimate. The White House's Office of Management and Budget said in July that federal deficits will surpass $1 trillion next year, with budget watchdogs saying the 2017 tax cuts are playing a big role in that increase.

Stivers, who is chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, also expressed an interest in cutting spending. 

"I do think we need to deal with our some of our spending," Stivers said. "We've got to try to figure out how to spend less.”

He went on to say that he agrees with an assessment by Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Trump fans the flames of white grievance Ex-White House spokesman Raj Shah joins Fox Corporation as senior vice president Trump quietly rolled back programs to detect, combat weapons of mass destruction: report MORE (R-Wis.) that the biggest spending issues pertain to Medicare and Social Security.

“We have to bend the cost curve on health care,” Stivers said, adding that he was open to a variety of solutions but approved of Ryan’s proposal to alter Medicare so that recipients receive vouchers to spend on whatever health insurance plan they choose.

"The way I'd like to see us do it is: End the benefit cliffs and create ramps where the more people earn, it might cost them a little more for their social subsidy, but they actually can keep their Medicaid expansion, or they can keep their housing, but they actually have an incentive to take that pay raise and do better and pay more taxes,” he said.