President Donald Trump, along with GOP lawmakers, is making a big push to roll out the phase two of the tax breaks.
“Kevin, are we going for an additional tax cut, I understand?” Trump asked, drawing laughter from those gathered for the event. “Huh? He’s the king of those tax cuts, yeah? We’re going to do a phase two, I’m hearing that. You hear that, John and Ted? Phase two. We’re actually very serious about that, Kevin. So, it’s good,” said Trump to Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz who also attended the Houston Astros White House visit in mid-March.
The GOP passed legislation in December that cut the corporate tax rate from 37 percent to 21 percent, while also reducing taxes for most individuals. But most of individual tax code changes expire in 2025.
Since passing the GOP tax bill, Republicans have pushed to implement the stage two of the tax cuts and make the tax cuts permanent.
“I am 100 percent behind that and would support it and even help promote it,” said Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee.
Brady said in March that he plans to release new proposals with more tax cuts this year.
“We are exploring what good new ideas can be brought forward in tax reform,” said Brady on the Fox Business Network. “The tax cuts for families and small businesses were long term, but they weren’t permanent. We think that’s important for growth and certainty.”
Trump has also made a push for this legislation.
“We’re actually going for a phase two, which will help in addition to the middle class, will help companies, and it’s going to be something I think very special,” said Trump.
Republicans were forced to put the limit on the individual tax code in order to get the bill passed.
“The tax cuts for individuals were made temporary in order for the bill to comply with the budget reconciliation rules Republicans were using to pass the measure with only a simple majority in the Senate. Under those rules, the law could not add to the deficit outside of the 10-year budget window,” writes The Hill.
However, it won’t be easy to pass another tax reform this year considering the GOP holds 51 seats in the Senate and would need to get nine Democratic Senators on board. Not one Democrat voted for the last year’s tax bill.
A common complaint by Democrats was that these tax cuts were just temporary.
“Democrats said all the time that these tax cuts should have been permanent, so I would expect them to support that legislation,” said Walker to The Hill.
Brady is still optimistic.
“We’re really encouraged,” said Brady on the Fox Business Network. “Main Street optimism is at record levels. Our economy is really gaining momentum and booming in a big way. But look, we think even more can be done. We want to make sure that we’re encouraging innovation in America. We want to help families save for the long term.”
Author’s note: The phase two tax cuts will be difficult to pass this year. This means the midterm elections are crucial and Republicans need to get more GOP seats in the Senate.