Brady makes the case for revenue-neutral tax reform

Brady makes the case for revenue-neutral tax reform
© Greg Nash

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyBlue states sue Treasury, IRS over rules blocking Trump tax law workarounds Manufacturers group lobbies Congress for new North America trade deal Lawmakers join Nats Park fundraiser for DC kids charity MORE (R-Texas) made the case for revenue-neutral tax reform on Wednesday, following a report that some advisers to President Trump and lawmakers are potentially interested in enacting tax cuts that aren't offset.

"I believe, both the most pro-growth approach we can take, and the fiscally responsible approach we can take, is to break even with the budget, counting on just solid, verifiable economic growth," he said at a Financial Services Roundtable event.

Politico reported Wednesday that some Trump aides are questioning the need for tax reform to maintain current revenue levels. Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulFirst responder calls senators blocking 9/11 victim funding 'a--holes' The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Jon Stewart rips into Rand Paul after he blocks 9/11 victim compensation fund: 'An abomination' MORE (R-Ky.) has also advocated for tax cuts that aren't paid for.

A tax-reform bill that increases the deficit would contrast with goals expressed by GOP congressional leaders. Both House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanOcasio-Cortez top aide emerges as lightning rod amid Democratic feud Juan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller House Republicans dismissive of Paul Ryan's take on Trump MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Dems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Senate passes bill making hacking voting systems a federal crime MORE (R-Ky.) have said they want tax reform to be revenue-neutral. A revenue-neutral bill would be easier to pass under budget reconciliation, which allows bills to clear the Senate with only 50 votes.

Trump's Treasury secretary nominee, Steven Mnuchin, has also said he thinks tax reform shouldn't increase the deficit.

Brady said lawmakers have been having "terrific discussions" with Trump's team about tax reform, and the revenue-neutrality issue is part of the discussion.

The House Republican blueprint that the Ways and Means Committee is working to turn into legislation is intended to be revenue-neutral after accounting for economic growth. Brady said that the plan would result in lost tax revenue in the early years of implementation but would make up for those losses later on, so it would break even within the 10-year budget window.

"After that, it creates significant revenue going forward, which helps us with our debt and deficits," he said.