White House, Lawmakers Issue Joint Statement on Tax Reform

The six lead negotiators on tax reform today issued a joint statement on how they plan to move forward with changing the U.S. tax code. The Republican leaders — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady — have been meeting together for the past three months with a goal of developing a shared vision for tax reform.

The high-level statement reiterated many of the principles outlined in the House Republican blueprint for tax reform released last summer, and the administration’s tax reform principles released in April. Policymakers said that their plans would include a simplified tax code for families and businesses that would increase competitiveness with foreign businesses, allow for greater capital spending and address foreign taxation regimes. While the statement did not provide specifics on the proposed tax rates or the treatment of net business interest expense, it did note that the controversial border adjustment tax idea would not be pursued.

American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols welcomed the news. “ABA strongly supports tax reform that boosts economic growth and creates jobs by lowering tax rates for everyone and broadening the tax base in a manner that avoids picking winners and losers. We look forward to working with policymakers on a plan that abides by these and other core principles,” Nichols said. “Comprehensive tax reform has the power to contribute to the financial success of America’s families, businesses and communities, and the nation’s banks stand ready to support its enactment.”

Lawmakers in both houses of Congress said they plan to work together on legislation this fall with the support of the administration. ABA, which recently issued principles for tax reform generated through a banker-led process, will continue to work with lawmakers and administration officials to provide input as the process moves forward.

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