The push to promote tax reform to the public is on in force: House Speaker Paul Ryan talked about it at a visit to Intel yesterday and again today at Boeing in Everett, Washington. House Republicans have been hammering at the tax code by comparing it (sometimes misguidedly) to ‘80s movies and videogames. Lobbying groups have launched ad campaigns. Companies are adding their money and muscle to the effort. And Wall Street is cheering on the cause.
What’s missing? President Trump.
As Politico’s Colin Wilhelm reported Thursday, "with less than two weeks to go before Congress returns and Republican leaders hoping to launch a major push to get tax legislation to the president's desk by the end of the year, Trump has barely mentioned the subject."
White House officials said last month that the president would be active in promoting tax reform in August and September. Instead, he’s been courting controversy with his comments about the racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, his criticism of GOP congressional leaders and now his threat to force a government shutdown over funding for a border wall with Mexico.
But as Wilhelm reports, it’s not too late for the president to make a difference on tax reform and that Trump’s vocal support will be more important once the battle over a specific bill begins. Still, the question remains: When the time comes, will Trump be able to steer clear of distractions or will he undermine the legislative efforts and months of messaging with some off-the-cuff comment?