Ryan: Some tax-reform provisions don't have to be permanent

Ryan: Some tax-reform provisions don't have to be permanent
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHow Kevin McCarthy sold his soul to Donald Trump On The Trail: Retirements offer window into House Democratic mood Stopping the next insurrection MORE (R-Wis.) on Wednesday said that main elements of tax reform need to be permanent but other components don't.

"There are other provisions in tax reform that don't have to be permanent," Ryan said in a news conference. "But the key ones, like rates, the things that businesses plan on, those things require the certainty of permanence. And that's where you get faster economic growth."

Ryan's remarks follow his speech Tuesday to the National Association of Manufacturers, where he pressed for tax reform to be permanent.

"Businesses need to have confidence that we won’t pull the rug out from under them," he said.

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GOP lawmakers are discussing whether tax changes need to be permanent because they intend to pass tax reform legislation through budget reconciliation in order to prevent a filibuster from Democrats.

Bills considered under reconciliation can't add to the deficit outside of the budget window, which traditionally is a 10-year period. As a result, a tax bill needs to be deficit-neutral or have at least some parts that expire.

Congressional leaders have said their preference is for tax reform to be revenue neutral, but some lawmakers and prominent conservatives have expressed an interest in lengthening the budget window so that Congress could pass temporary tax cuts that last for more than 10 years.

Lawmakers are currently working on the fiscal 2018 budget reconciliation that is expected to provide instructions for tax reform.

Ryan said Wednesday that "we haven't settled on exactly the terms of the budget resolution yet." He noted that regardless of the length of the budget window, reconciliation bills need to be deficit-neutral in the "out years."

House Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane BlackDiane Lynn BlackBottom line Overnight Health Care: Anti-abortion Democrats take heat from party | More states sue Purdue over opioid epidemic | 1 in 4 in poll say high costs led them to skip medical care Lamar Alexander's exit marks end of an era in evolving Tennessee MORE (R-Tenn.) said that her panel is focused on a 10-year budget window at this point.

"We're still in the 10-year period. That's where we are looking right now," she said.