- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 14, 2017

Nearly 100 conservative leaders and activists on Thursday released a letter urging lawmakers to pass a tax reform plan in 2017 that lowers rates “across the board” and simplifies the federal code.

“It is key that tax reform reduce rates for Americans across the board, drastically simplifies the code for families and individuals, ends the Death Tax, unrigs the system to promote a healthy economy, and implements a territorial system of taxation so businesses large and small can compete,” the leaders wrote.

Among the signatories were Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, and Christine Harbin, vice president of external affairs at Americans for Prosperity.

“Numerous polls have shown widespread public support for tax reform that lowers rates for all and reforms the code based on the principles of simplicity, fairness, and equity,” they wrote. “Americans are frustrated with the rigged system that favors the politically connected and lobbyists at the expense of ordinary Americans.”

The letter was addressed to the six members of a tax working group that’s been huddling for months trying to craft a package: House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, Senate Finance Committee Orrin G. Hatch, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.

“We applaud the work that each of you have already taken to ensure tax reform is enacted in 2017 and stand ready to continue working with you in the second half of the year,” the leaders wrote.

The encouragement comes a day after Republican leaders said they plan to release more details on what will be in their package during the week of Sept. 25.

The call to lower rates across the board also comes a day after President Trump said the rich wouldn’t be gaining from the plan and if the wealthy ended up paying more, so be it.

That attitude is somewhat of a break from congressional Republicans who say they want to reduce the tax burden on everyone to jump-start the economy, and are also working to bring small business owners who currently file their taxes as individuals more in line with the corporate tax rate.

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