- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Rep. Richard Neal, the ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee, on Wednesday said House Republicans‘ trillion-dollar proposal to tax imports might not even get out of committee in the House, let alone through either chamber of Congress.

“I think it would have trouble getting out of the Ways and Means committee,” Mr. Neal, Massachusetts Democrat, said at an event at the National Press Club hosted by Bloomberg BNA. “For the moment, it looks as though it’s not moving anywhere.”

He said he does understand the argument for the “border adjustment” tax. He said it raises about a trillion dollars over 10 years, which Republicans want to use to lower other rates, but also pointed out it’s opposed by retailers.

Proponents say the 20 percent tax on imports would also be a boost for U.S. manufacturing and that currency adjustments could offset any associated jump in prices for goods.

But it’s run into opposition from Republicans in the Senate and even in the House, and the White House hasn’t embraced it.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch acknowledged the proposal would have a difficult time becoming law, but said he isn’t ready to publicly rule out potential revenue offsets for other tax rate cuts in a reform package.

“I want to see the specifics of the proposal and find out if it works like its proponents say it will,” Mr. Hatch said, speaking before Mr. Neal. “Until then, I’m not going to publicly rule anything out.”

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