The White House and Capitol Hill Republicans moved the timing on tax reform back again this week.
Congressman Kevin Brady, the Republican from Texas who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, said Wednesday that the tax bill would have to wait until after Republicans finish the budget process. And since the budget is not expected to be finalized until mid-October, the tax bill won’t be ready until last October or early November. Even then it may face further delays because that would put it very close to the early-December end of the suspension of the debt ceiling.
Separately, Republicans leaders said they plan to start to release details of the GOP tax plan in the final week of September. Administration officials were saying this summer that the details could be released in late August or early September. But the promised details never emerged.
Back in February, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he expected “very significant” tax reform to be passed before Congress’s August recess.
“We want to get this done by the August recess. We’ve been working closely with the leadership in the House and Senate and we’re looking at a combined plan,” Mnuchin said in his first television interview after he was confirmed by the Senate.
In July, Mnuchin said the full tax plan would be released in September and passed by the end of the year. That now looks increasingly unlikely.
Mnuchin has said that tax reform is the president’s “number one” priority.