The GOP Tax Challenge: Lots of Work, Not Much Time, and a $3 Trillion Hole to Fill

The GOP Tax Challenge: Lots of Work, Not Much Time, and a $3 Trillion Hole to Fill

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Week 39 of the Trump administration is shaping up to be a big one on the path to a tax bill, as the House is now expected to vote Thursday on the Senate-passed budget resolution. President Trump will head to the Senate on Tuesday to join Republicans at their weekly policy lunch, continuing his push for swift action on tax cuts — even as he’s created some significant distractions along the way. “We are on the verge of doing something very, very historic,” Trump told House Republicans on a conference call Sunday, urging members to pass the Senate budget or face voter wrath in 2018.

The president also published an op-ed on tax reform in USA Today Sunday, and in an interview with Fox Business, he said he wants Congress to work through the Thanksgiving holiday if they have to, but said he wants the tax bill done by the end of the year. Even Ivanka Trump is getting in on the tax reform campaign, advocating for an expansion of the child tax credit in an appearance Monday in Pennsylvania.

But Republicans still have a lot of work ahead of them, and not much time to do it this year. The Washington Post’s Tory Newmyer looks at the calendar: “The plan in the House calls for a budget vote this week, the unveiling of the legislative text next week, a markup in the Ways and Means Committee the following week, then floor consideration the week after that, which begins Nov. 13. Hitting those marks, no easy task, would get a package through the chamber by Thanksgiving.”

But timing is far from the only challenge. Republicans still need to specify how they’ll raise more than $3 trillion in revenue to offset the costs of their tax cuts. And Trump isn’t making that politically treacherous process any easier.