Kevin Brady

Lobbyists Push GOP to Repeal Obamacare Fees in Tax Overhaul
Trade group is launching digital ad buys in key states

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, seen here with Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow wants to look at a possible repeal of the 2010 health care law's taxes as part of a larger tax package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Republican effort to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law may have stalled, but lobbyists are pushing the GOP to continue to target the provisions the industry most despises: the law’s taxes.

House and Senate Republicans hope to push forward on a tax overhaul when Congress returns in September, an item they previously delayed in favor of health care. Repealing the 2010 health care law and its corresponding taxes would have helped simplify the GOP’s upcoming work, but those hopes were deflated when the Senate did not pass a repeal bill last month.

GOP Tax Unity Statement Creates Messaging, Negotiating Room
Big Six negotiators leave plenty of space on the table for differing ideas

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady plans to spend the August recess pitching a tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP congressional and administration leaders’ joint tax overhaul statement took one big item off the negotiating table Thursday but left almost everything else on it. And that’s likely by design. 

The official death of the border adjustment tax removes the most controversial idea from the tax overhaul conversation and provides GOP lawmakers and stakeholder groups with room to message on aspects of the tax rewrite effort that have garnered less attention. 

Border Tax Critics Turn Attention to Supporting Overhaul
‘The way has been cleared for swift action on a middle-class tax cut’

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce expressed hope Thursday for “tax reform” this year. (Courtesy AgnosticPreachersKid/Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)

Lobbying groups, including those in the Koch brothers’ conservative political network, spent millions of dollars and mobilized voters nationwide in an effort to kill the border adjustment tax proposal. They won.

After the Trump administration and Republican congressional leaders Thursday offered their broad outline for a tax overhaul proposal that nixed the border adjustment tax, or BAT, industry groups did not hide their glee.

Tax Overhaul Moves Forward Without Border Adjustment Plan
Questions still remain on how to rewrite the tax code

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said negotiators from Congress and the Trump administration dropped the border adjustment tax proposal “in order for us to unify.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By LINDSEY MCPHERSON and JOHN T. BENNETTUpdated 5:39 p.m. | The decision by the White House and Republican leaders to drop a controversial border adjustment tax proposal as they proceed with negotiations on how to rewrite the tax code provides more questions than answers about where their effort is headed.

The border adjustment tax, known as the BAT, would have reversed the current way the United States taxes goods crossing its borders by taxing imports but exempting exports.

Trump, GOP Leaders Near Deal on Tax Principles

Sens. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, left, and John Cornyn, R-Texas, are part of a group that has been working on principles for the GOP effort on overhauling the tax code. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)


Top Republican leaders said Wednesday they are close to a deal with the Trump administration on a broad set of tax goals that will guide overhaul efforts.

No Budget, No Tax Reform: GOP Faces Reality of Remaining Agenda
House Republicans optimistic despite lacking votes for budget resolution

Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady remains optimistic that House Republicans can pass a budget resolution to set up the reconciliation process for a tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“Clearly, no budget, no tax reform.”

That comment made by House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady on Thursday, and then again for good measure on Monday, is the primary selling point on which House Republican leaders are hoping to whip up enough support to pass their fiscal 2018 budget resolution. Yet that pitch has done little to appease the naysayers.

House GOP to Stick With Partisan Strategy on Taxes
Rep. Mark Walker: ‘I feel like it’s our only option’

North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker thinks a partisan approach on a tax overhaul is the only way forward for the GOP. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans’ partisan push to overhaul the health care system failed in the Senate, but House GOP lawmakers say they plan to stick to that approach in rewriting the tax code.

Since the start of the year, Republicans have said the health care and tax overhauls, the top two items on their legislative agenda, would likely be partisan efforts given wide policy gaps with Democrats on both issues.

Top Tax Writers Noncommittal on Overhaul Timeline
White House has more aggressive calendar than Congress

Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, is not committing to a timeline for tax overhaul that the White House had offered. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The chairmen of the House and Senate tax-writing committees on Tuesday declined to commit to releasing their unified tax overhaul plan by the end of the month after a key White House official a day earlier had said they hoped to have it “locked in place” before the August recess.

Republican leaders from the House, Senate and White House have been meeting regularly to discuss a tax overhaul, hoping to come up with a unified plan that both chambers of Congress can pass and the president can sign into law this year.

Search for Offsets Squeezes House GOP on Tax Cuts
Leaders facing pressure from Senate and White House

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady says he remains focused on pairing tax cuts with offsets that pay for their cost. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A widening fracas over offsets leaves House Republican leaders with tough choices as they try to settle on the scope of tax cuts and revenue-raising items in a package they are negotiating with their Senate counterparts and President Donald Trump.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and his team face pressure from senators and the administration to loosen their demand for a revenue-neutral tax package. Some Republicans have even floated the idea of temporary tax cuts without any offsets like those enacted under President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003.

Republicans Eye Obamacare Taxes As Source Of Revenue
Tax on investments for higher-income earners seen as top target

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., thinks the net investment tax should stay in place and the revenue reallocated to lower-income Americans to reduce their health care costs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In a quest for more revenue sources, Senate Republicans are considering leaving in place a tax on wealthy Americans after initially including its repeal in their legislation to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system.

The GOP is also discussing holding off on the repeal of other taxes included in the 2010 health law, one Republican lawmaker and lobbyists say. Such a move would free up additional funding that could then be allocated toward reducing health care costs for lower-income Americans, lawmakers say.