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Club for Growth presses for work on trade, taxes

A leading conservative group is urging Republicans leaders to tackle tax reform, trade and infrastructure spending.

Club for Growth sent a letter to House and Senate GOP leaders to push for an agenda that they argue will stimulate economic and jobs growth.

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“If, under your leadership, Congress focuses on comprehensive tax reform and trade deals, embraces reforms instead of taxes to fix our broken infrastructure system, and continues to press for free market healthcare and reducing regulatory burdens, you can count on us as your loudest cheerleaders," wrote David McIntosh, the Club's president.

The letter, to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Speaker John Boehner (Ohio), said lawmakers should look broadly at individual as well as corporate tax reform, using as a guide the blueprint put out last year by the House Ways and Means Committee.

“We would suggest eliminating as many loopholes and deductions as possible along with cutting marginal rates so as to maximize the pro-growth effects of reform,” McIntosh wrote. 

On Thursday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) announced several working groups to help the panel delve into tax reform challenges.

Club for Growth also pressed for passage of trade promotion authority, also known as fast-track, to smooth approval of any trade deals that reach Capitol Hill.

The group said it supports passage of a TPA bill without adding Trade Adjustment Assistance, a priority for the White House and many Democrats.

McIntosh also said that fast-track should not include "protectionist provisions regarding foreign currency manipulation, the precursor for a big tax increase on imported goods and businesses."

"President Obama knows that he needs Republican support to pass this potentially huge and pro-growth trade deal," he wrote.

"That’s exactly why Congress should send the president a bill approving fast-track authority without all of the giveaways to big labor and special interests that others have inserted into trade legislation in the past."

The group also pointed to the economic benefits of infrastructure projects but said it will oppose any increases in taxes or use of general revenues to boost the Highway Trust Fund.

The group suggested considering legislation that would return the power of highway spending to the states.

"That would free up the states to fund their own projects without the interference of the federal government," McIntosh wrote.

McIntosh said they group is also urging for the repeal of ObamaCare and passage of regulatory reforms.