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White House talking new tax cuts with GOP

White House talking new tax cuts with GOP
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The Trump administration and congressional Republicans have begun working on a new tax package, The Washington Post reports.

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In September, both Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinNew book questions Harris's record on big banks On The Money: US paid record .1B in tariffs in September | Dems ramp up oversight of 'opportunity zones' | Judge hints at letting House lawsuit over Trump tax returns proceed Democrats ramp up oversight efforts over 'opportunity zone' incentive MORE and White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE hinted that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment MORE wanted to pass "tax cuts 2.0" before the 2020 election. Trump also said publicly in September that there would be income tax cuts for the middle-class next year.

"We’ll be looking at tax cuts 2.0, something that will be something we’ll consider next year,” Mnuchin told reporters at the time. “But right now, the economy is in very, very good shape.”

The narrative of a successful U.S. economy has changed since Mnuchin made these comments.

On Wednesday, the Commerce Department released the latest economic numbers that suggested economic downturn. 

The economy has grown at an annualized rate of 1.9 percent, falling short of Trump's goal of 3 percent per year. The Federal Reserve lowered interested rates for the third time this year, in hopes of stimulating a dragging economy. Additionally, business investment has contracted for six straight months. 

Sources told the Post that Kudlow is playing a lead role in discussions on the tax measure.

Rep. Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyHow centrist Dems learned to stop worrying and love impeachment On The Money: Senate passes first spending package as shutdown looms | Treasury moves to roll back Obama rules on offshore tax deals | Trade deal talks manage to weather Trump impeachment storm White House talking new tax cuts with GOP MORE (Texas), the top GOP member on the House Ways and Means Committee, told the paper, "We are having those discussions with the White House, we’ll be engaging with them further, and we’ll have discussions with Republicans, too, in the House about what we think the most pro-growth elements can be, the most pro-innovation."

Trump's 2017 plan has failed to gain public support and has yet to show visible economic dividends. However, one tangible by-product of the tax package was a considerable hike to the national debt, which grew nearly $1 trillion.

Details of what the upcoming tax package would include are still murky, but some components may include lower income tax and capital gains tax rates. However, this rumor directly contradicts a claim that Trump made in September, when he said he wouldn't lower capital gains taxes

Nonetheless, Brady asserts that new tax policy is a priority for the president.

"The White House is studying numerous proposals that will benefit the middle-class and the American worker and promote long-term economic growth," White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere told The Hill.

However, any GOP tax bill introduced is likely to face immediate axing in a Democratic-controlled House.

Rep. Lloyd DoggettLloyd Alton DoggettWhite House talking new tax cuts with GOP On The Money: Lawmakers hammer Zuckerberg over Facebook controversies | GOP chair expects another funding stopgap | Senate rejects Dem measure on SALT deduction cap workarounds House committee advances measure taxing nicotine in vaping products MORE (D-Texas), who's a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee, told the paper that a Trump tax plan would go "nowhere" and that any tax bill at this point would only serve as "another distraction from the fact that he’s about to be impeached."

In 2018, Trump promised that large tax cuts for the middle-class would come if the Republicans retained control of the House in midterm elections. But, after Democrats won control of the House in 2018, a bill was never put forward by the White House. 

–Updated at 4:31 p.m.