President Donald Trump has told congressional leaders he’d like the final deal on tax reform to move even faster than the Dec. 22 goal they’ve set, according to White House officials.
“We want it to proceed as quickly as possible, and we’ve communicated that to the Hill in a lot of ways,” said Marc Short, White House director of legislative affairs. “There are not a lot of outstanding issues remaining, and we’re not looking to open up Pandora’s box.”
The White House would like to ensure the lawmakers negotiating a compromise on the House and Senate legislation do not veer off the main differences between the two bills, Short said. Specifically, some of the outstanding questions include the best way to handle individual tax brackets and the corporate alternative minimum tax.
The House named its conferees on the legislation on Monday. The Senate is expected to follow later this week.
Short said Trump would take direction on how to be helpful from House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in courting the support of lawmakers of both chambers. He added that the White House hasn’t given up on winning the support of Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the lone Senate Republican to vote against the tax bill that passed 51-49 early Saturday morning.
Corker withheld support over deficit concerns. Since that vote, Trump suggested the current 35 percent corporate tax rate could get reduced to 22 percent instead of 20 percent as written in both the House and Senate bills.