President Trump and a top House Republican on Wednesday issued an unusual joint statement committing to pursuing tax cuts for middle-class families in 2019, a much slower time frame than Trump said was in the works last week.
“We are committed to delivering an additional 10 percent tax cut to middle-class workers across the country,” Trump and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said in the joint statement. “And we intend to take swift action on this legislation at the start” of the new Congress next year.
Trump said last week that he would pursue a 10 percent tax cut and deliver some sort of resolution this week, though he gave no further details about how that would happen.
“It’s going to be put in next week, 10 percent tax cut,” Trump said at a rally in Houston.
Congress is not in session until after the midterm elections, and it was unclear how the president planned to deliver a tax cut without lawmakers voting on any bills. His announcement shocked many of his aides, who were not prepared to advance such a measure.
The designs of the tax cut haven’t been sorted out within the White House, including how it could be structured so as not to add to the deficit. Trump has promised that the tax cut would not add to the deficit, but that would mean he would need to raise revenue elsewhere.
Republicans passed a massive tax-cut measure last year that lowered rates for most Americans but concentrated much of the benefits for corporations and the wealthy.
The legislation remains unpopular with many Americans.
It is projected to add more than $1 trillion to the deficit over 10 years, and corporations have moved swiftly to increase stock buybacks, but not as quickly to ramp up investment or boost wages.
The joint statement Wednesday says Trump’s goal is to achieve tax cuts for the middle class early next year when the new Congress is sworn in. It is possible Brady will no longer be chairman of the committee next year if Democrats win control of Congress during next week’s midterm vote.