- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sen. Mike Lee said Tuesday that both tax reform and a new health care law can get done with the existing Senate rules.

“Well, on tax reform and on Obamacare, we can accomplish both things with the existing rules, with 51 votes,” Mr. Lee, Utah Republican, said on Fox News.

The senator reacted to President Trump’s tweets on Tuesday urging Republicans to change the Senate rules to allow faster passage of his bills through Congress.

“We use a procedure called budget reconciliation — on both of those we can use cloture standard on the filibuster. So in this instance, there’s no need to change the rules. The rules already allow us to do it with 51,” Mr. Lee said.

The border-adjustment tax suggested by the House is likely dead, he said. The proposal would put a 20 percent tax on imports, but wouldn’t apply it to exports, to help increase revenue with other rates being cut.

“The White House doesn’t want it. A number of us in the Senate have real concerns about the border-adjustment tax. I think that part of it is dead. I don’t think that part of it can move forward,” Mr. Lee said.

But he said that piece alone won’t kill the tax reform plan overall, unlike what critics have said.

“Despite the doomsday predictions by the Wall Street Journal, I think it can happen. I think we can make it happen,” Mr. Lee said.

Tax reform is expected to be the priority for the Congress after senators and representatives return from recess next week.

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