Prominent conservatives: Extend the budget window to pass tax cuts

Prominent conservatives: Extend the budget window to pass tax cuts
© Greg Nash

The leaders of two prominent conservative groups are arguing that lawmakers should lengthen the budget window from 10 years to 25 years in order to pass tax cuts.

"If Congress is serious about boosting the economy, it should pass a net tax cut within the extended 25-year budget window," Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist and Club for Growth President David McIntosh said in an op-ed in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal.

"As President Trump says, 'prime the pump' now and the economy will start to flow, creating millions of jobs and more tax money for Washington," Norquist and McIntosh added.

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Congressional Republicans want to pass tax-reform legislation this year through a process known as "reconciliation" in order to prevent a Democratic filibuster. But reconciliation bills cannot increase the deficit outside of the budget window, which typically is 10 years. As a result, Congress either needs to pass a deficit-neutral tax bill or pass tax cuts that are temporary.

Norquist and McIntosh said that the budget window should be lengthened to 25 years "which would allow rate reductions to go into effect now and be offset later with revenue from higher growth or spending restraint."

The conservative leaders said that extending the budget window makes sense "because the people creating jobs and investing in new products think long-term."

"Depreciation schedules for new plant and equipment often run to 25 years or more," they wrote.

The notion of lengthening the budget window in order to pass longer-term tax cuts has some support from policymakers. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has been arguing for a longer budget window, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney have expressed an openness to the idea.

House GOP leaders and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell​​Democrats make voting rights push ahead of Senate consideration Hogan won't say if he will file to run for Senate by Feb. 22 deadline Voting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities MORE (R-Ky.), however, have said they want tax reform to be revenue neutral.