- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 22, 2017

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says he “absolutely” believes that President Trump will have a tax reform bill on his desk by December.

“I absolutely do,” Mr. Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.” “In fact, it got a lot more ― if the House really does take the Senate budget when they come back on, I think it’s Tuesday this week, it absolutely moves the ball a lot quicker a lot further towards that goal.”

Senate Republicans powered through a budget plan Thursday night by a 51-49 vote, clearing the path for a massive tax deal that will require only GOP votes to pass.

Mr. Mulvaney said that could save “as many as 10 or 12 legislative days, which is a big deal.”

“[It] sounds like it’s not much when you’re only here to the end of October, but in the congressional calendar, that’s a long time, and it really does buy us some more time and more opportunity to get this done before the end of the year,” he said.

The budget chief said the president’s top two priorities for tax reform are lower rates and a simplified code for middle-income taxpayers, and a lower corporate tax rate.

The current plan would bring the corporate tax rate down from 35 to 20 percent, falling just short of the 15 percent rate that the president has long targeted.

Mr. Mulvaney said the White House is interested in “the very best tax package that can actually pass.”

“The corporate tax rate is going to come down,” he said. “We wanted 15 percent, the House kept pushing and pushing and pushing. We’re talking about 20. We’d love to get back down to 15 as we continue that negotiation.”

Asked whether Democrats would support a tax plan that lowers the corporate rate, Mr. Mulvaney replied, “No chance.”

“In fact, I’ve asked a couple of Democrats if they’d ever vote to lower the corporate tax rate, and they told me no,” Mr. Mulvaney told Fox News’ Dana Perino. “Which is just bizarre, Dana, since they’ve supported themselves bills in the past.

“It’s almost as if, since it’s President Trump’s administration and it’s a Republican plan, now they’re against it.”

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