- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 14, 2017

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday that the budget needs to be passed before Congress will start on tax reform.

“Now the budget came out of committee unanimously with all Republicans voting for it, and Democrats voting no, but we can’t start on tax reform until the budget is passed,” Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, said on Fox News.

He added that conservative lawmakers in the House have voiced concerns about supporting the budget without additional details on tax reform.

Mr. McCarthy said he feared that conservatives’ hold-out on the budget would delay starting on tax reform and allow Democrats to gain the upper hand in negotiations.

“I don’t want to back this up against Christmas time because then the Democrats will have more the power. Remember, we’re going to have to deal with the continuing resolution with what we’re doing with appropriations at the end of the year of government funding,” he said.

President Trump made a deal with Democratic leaders to delay the debt ceiling until Dec. 15, which Republicans disagreed with fearing tax reform would come up against this deadline.

When asked about Mr. Trump’s comment that the “rich” would not benefit from his pending tax plan, Mr. McCarthy deferred to the president.

“You’ll have to ask the president what he considers wealthy in that termination,” he said.

Mr. McCarthy did say that the tax rate on businesses, both the corporate rate and small business tax, was very high, making it difficult for companies to compete. He said the bottom line is to have people keep more of what they earn.

“I want everybody in America to be wealthy. So what I found best is don’t have government take more of what you earn,” he said.

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