June 16, 2017
Washington, DC – Young Richardson, OAN Political Correspondent
House Freedom Caucus leaders are now putting forward their ideas for overhauling the tax code, which could put the group of conservative House members at odds with GOP leaders and tax writers especially when it comes to a tax on imports called a border adjustment tax.
“We don’t need a new tax put on the American people. This border adjustment tax–most of our members think that’s a problem. You don’t put a whole new tax on the American economy… on American families. Second this idea of revenue neutral… since when did we think that allowing people to keep more of their money is somehow a cost of government? So whenever you hear revenue neutrality, that’s Washington speak for the tax burden stays the same, we just change who pays what. In that scenario, what always happens is that the connected class in this town gets a good deal, middle class families get a bad deal,” observes Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, a founder of the Freedom Caucus.
So a new tax like the border adjustment tax–which is supported by House leadership–is a non-starter for the Freedom Caucus says Jordan. But as Jordan explains, writing a tax bill this year could be tied up with reconciliation and government programs where the freedom caucus wants more changes.
“In order to get tax reform, you have to have this vehicle called reconciliation in order to get reconciliation you have to have a budget, in order to have a budget, you have to agree on a spending level…. So, we’re gonna push hard for real savings in the reconciliation package and real savings that would incentivize work, so work requirements for SNAP, TANIF–some of our welfare programs. We think that’s the key to moving forward…”
And if the Freedom Caucus members like Jordan want to push hard for something, like combining welfare work requirements with a tax package, they may just get it says Jason Pye of the conservative activist group Freedomworks.
“I think the Freedom Caucus wants to do tax reform that both gives a tax cut to the American citizens, not just something that is revenue neutral, which is what Republican leadership wants. As well as do some other things like welfare reform. Which would mean cutting spending by billions of dollars every year, just by adding work requirements so people move off welfare into the work force…. The Freedom Caucus has leverage. We’re talking about 22 to 30 members of the Republican Conference. Twenty-two defective Republicans means House leadership loses. They have to listen to the Freedom Caucus. They have to go along with what they want.”
So it appears that just as it did with health care, the House Freedom Caucus seems likely to leave its mark on tax reform.