Trump to leave infrastructure out of tax reform

Trump to leave infrastructure out of tax reform
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White House officials assured conservative groups during a Thursday meeting that Trump will leave his infrastructure plan out of any tax reform efforts, according to a source who was at the meeting.
While the comments appear consistent with a one-page tax plan summary released by the administration in April, there had still been hope on Capitol Hill that tax reform would be used to help pay for Trump’s rebuilding effort.
And Trump himself has repeatedly floated the idea of linking the two issues together in an effort to get more Democrats on board.


But White House officials told conservatives that Trump would not couple his tax plan with infrastructure or use tax reform to help pay for the rebuilding program, though they emphasized the infrastructure proposal is still being developed, a source said.
The off-the-record meeting with conservative groups, which was first reported by Politico, comes as the administration works to sell skeptical fiscal conservatives on a massive infrastructure bill — an idea that has long given them heartburn.

White House officials repeatedly promised conservative groups that Trump’s rebuilding package would uphold conservative ideals and would not look like former President Obama’s economic stimulus package.

The concept of pairing tax reform with infrastructure is one issue that has divided conservatives.

Prominent conservatives, including Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, have warned that tying infrastructure and taxes together could make tax reform less pro-growth.

There have also been mixed opinions over whether to use the revenue from repatriation — taxing corporate earnings stashed overseas at a lower rate when it returns to the U.S. — to pay for infrastructure investment.

There has been some bipartisan support for the idea, but many conservatives would rather see repatriation used on overhauling the tax code, and there are questions about whether there would be enough money to achieve both goals.

Trump’s tax plan summary includes repatriation, though it does not indicate what the extra revenue should be spent on.

Some supporters had still hoped they could help shape the tax plan to ensure infrastructure benefits from repatriation. But White House officials have suggested that it’s off the table, according to the source who was present at Thursday's meeting.