Treasury Sec. Mnuchin: Tax Reform Delayed, But Still in for 2017

US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin speaks during a press conference at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Baden-Baden, southern Germany, on March 18, 2017

This week Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin blamed a delay in healthcare reform for likely pushing the “aggressive timeline” for President Donald Trump’s tax reform back until after congress’ August recess.

Mnuchin said in an interview with the Financial Times that tax reform, “started as [an] aggressive timeline” before admitting that any hope of seeing a tax reform bill passed through congress and on the President’s desk for signing before August was, “highly aggressive to not realistic at this point.”

House Republican Leadership led by Speaker Paul Ryan made the hard sell for their American Health Care Act, but the bill has thus far failed to pass and the GOP leadership has failed to deliver on campaign trail promises to repeal and replace now former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

In this week’s FT interview, Mnuchin went on to say, “It is fair to say it is probably delayed a bit because of the healthcare.”

Criticism arose over the late involvement of members of the House Freedom Caucus in the healthcare reform process as the bill showed signs of not passing. As plans were made for a vote on the bill, Republicans on both the moderate and conservative ends of the spectrum were expected to vote against passage in numbers great enough to ensure it would not pass.

Though the Treasury Secretary sees tax reform as coming after August, he added that he still expects to see the reforms come within 2017.

This week in Washington, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have gathered finance ministers and central bankers from far and wide. Mnuchin is participating in several of these meetings according to a schedule posted by Reuters.

The border adjustment tax is expected to be abandoned according to the Times. Mnuchin told the outlet that the $1 trillion that would be forgone in such a move, could be raised without it. However, the Secretary admitted that the tax has not yet been taken off the table.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana