White House and congressional legislative priorities

Published in the April 2017 issue of Washington Update

Congress continues its two week Easter/Passover recess. On their return, they will need to address the upcoming April 28 federal funding deadline. Congress hopes to avoid any partial federal government shutdown and approve funding through the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2017).

Meanwhile, the White House has indicated they may be reshuffling their legislative priorities.

After a failed attempt to repeal/replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it was expected that the Administration would move on to tax reform. Now it appears that the White House may try to tackle the ACA again as repealing the nearly $1 trillion of taxes that are a part of the ACA, would make overall tax reform easier.

While tax reform is still a top priority, it is unlikely to be accomplished by the original August goal. Further, it is not clear what the White House reform package will include. A Congressional tax reform bill would include a border adjustment tax that would levy a 20 percent tax on imports in order to pay for a cut in current taxes. President Trump has referred to some sort of import or reciprocal tax. Additionally, the Administration has not said whether the transportation infrastructure spending (and associated taxes and revenues) would be included in this tax reform package or handled separately.

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