Freedom Caucus Chair Meadows: We Need Tax Reform By August or No Recess

Mark Meadows
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House Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows (R-NC) says that if Congress fails to introduce a tax reform package by the end of July, leadership in the House and Senate should call off the August recess.

Chairman Meadows told attendees at a Heritage Foundation tax event, “We need to get tax reform done sooner (rather) than later and by that we should have a real proposal that we start debating before we leave at the end of July.”

Meadows said that we need to have an agreement on tax reform in the next 3 or 4 weeks and that negotiations will fare much better once Congress moves past the idea of a border adjustment tax.

“There is no consensus for the border adjustment tax. The sooner we acknowledge that and get on with a plan that actually works and actually can build consensus, the better off we will be,” the North Carolina congressman added.

Meadows negotiated with former Tuesday co-chair Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) to craft the MacArthur amendment. The amendment galvanized enough support for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to pass through the House. Now, Meadows wants to negotiate a tax reform deal, even if that means getting rid of Congress’s vacation in August.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the former Freedom Caucus chair, also dispelled the notion of a border adjustment tax. A border adjustment tax (BAT) would tax imports at 20 percent while exempting exports from the tax.

Jordan said that lawmakers need to eliminate the idea of revenue neutrality for tax reform, which he argues does not amount to a real tax cut for Americans.

“Letting families keep more of their money is not a cost to government—it’s called freedom,” Jordan said.

The Ohio congressman chided the current talks of the House budget negotiations. Jordan said, “Right now a budget cannot pass in the House.”

Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA) explained that this is a “one in a century opportunity” to create economic growth through tax reform.

Jack Spencer, the vice president for the Institute for Economic Freedom at Heritage, asked the Freedom Caucus panel how the Senate might jeopardize the reconciliation and budget process by retaining Obamacare’s taxes in the Senate health care bill.

Jordan chided, “It certainly doesn’t help it. That’s the Senate’s job.”

Congressman Warren Davidson (R-OH), another Freedom Caucus member, reiterated Jordan’s emphasis on real tax cuts for American families.

“We can’t tweak around the edges, we need to go big,” Davidson said.

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