President Trump promised the largest tax cut in history, but as he hit the road Wednesday to promote the plan, Republicans in Congress were quietly discussing scaling back key provisions in an effort to deliver the top White House priority.
There’s already talk that the cornerstone of the GOP proposal — a dramatically reduced 20% corporate tax rate that Trump has called a “red line” — may slip to 22% or 23%, those familiar with negotiations said.
Trump had originally promised a 15% rate for corporations. But Republicans are running into resistance from lawmakers and lobbyists who want to preserve deductions and loopholes that were targeted for elimination under the White House plan to offset the massive corporate cut from the current 35% rate.
Some Republicans are also pushing back against other parts of the president’s plan, such as scrapping the estate tax for the rich and eliminating deductions for state and local taxes, which would hurt residents in high-tax states like California and New York.
At an evening rally in Harrisburg, Pa., Trump said the corporate rate would be “no more than 20%.” But earlier this week, he acknowledged that changes may lie ahead. “We’ll be adjusting a little bit over the next few weeks to make it even stronger,” he said.