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Trump, GOP midterm tax cut plan promise not going to happen



donald trump
President Donald

Ralph Freso/Getty

  • President Donald Trump said Republicans would roll out a
    middle class tax cut plan before the midterm elections.
  • The suggestion reportedly took GOP leaders by surprise.
  • Such an effort would be unlikely given that Congress is in
    recess through Election Day.

President Donald Trump dropped a shocking piece of news during a
visit to Nevada on Saturday: Republicans, he said, were aiming to
roll out another tax cut for the middle class by the midterm
election on November 6.

We are looking at putting in a very major tax cut for
middle-income people,” Trump said. “And if we do that, it’ll be
sometime just prior, I would say, to November.”

The suggestion took
everyone in Washington by surprise
 — even GOP leaders.

The likelihood of any major tax legislation passing, or even
getting introduced, in the two weeks before the midterm elections
is far-fetched at best and most likely impossible.

For one thing, Congress is not even in session until after
Election Day, as most members are out on the campaign trail.

And any plan would likely get blowback from lawmakers — even
Republicans — who were concerned that
the GOP tax law
passed in December (the Tax Cuts and Jobs
Act, or TCJA) went through a rushed process and expanded
the federal deficit
 by too much.

Finally, in order to pass any more tax cuts the GOP would need to
get a handful of Democrats on board with the plan to avoid a
filibuster, which would be highly unlikely. 

Amid the confusion, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
clarified in an interview with The New York Times
the administration and GOP leaders were were merely working on a
plan for another middle class tax cut that would be released, but
not passed, by the midterms.

Then on Monday, Trump told reporters that the tax cut plan would
actually be a resolution that would aim to give middle income
earners another 10% tax cut on top of the reductions from the
TCJA. It was not clear whether Trump was referring to a symbolic
resolution or actual legislation.

While the ambition for the new tax plan is quickly being dialed
back, the goal is likely the same: to drum up support for GOP
candidates prior to the midterms.

The previously implemented
GOP tax law still polls poorly,
and Republican groups have

largely stopped advertising
around the cuts. Rolling out
another tax cut just before the election could energize the base
in an attempt to drive up Republican turnout.

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