Lawmakers, Trump voice concern for tax reform issues

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks at a news conference on Monday about concerns regarding the House tax reform bill in Washington. Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI

Nov. 13 (UPI) — President Donald Trump on Monday added a hurdle to congressional passage of a tax reform bill on Monday, calling for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

The president’s recommendation came in a Twitter message as he returned from an extended Asian trip.

Trump contended that a repeal of the ACA could freeze the top individual income tax rate to 35 percent, with “all of the rest going to middle income cuts.”

Trump’s advice could complicate an already antagonistic environment, as Senate Republicans on Monday began the markup process for their version of the bill — which was passed last week by the Senate Finance Committee. House GOP members plan to bring their bill, which differs significantly from the Senate bill, to the lower chamber for a vote later this week.

Neither version repeals the ACA individual mandate Trump wants to see removed.

The Congressional Budget Office said last week that repealing the mandate would save $338 billion in taxes over 10 years, offering additional room to cut taxes, but would leave 13 million more Americans uninsured by 2027.

Many Republican legislators have expressed concern that including the ACA repeal in the tax bill could endanger their effort and compromise their re-election chances in 2018.

The House bill includes removal of deductions for state and local taxes — an issue that’s raised alarm among national and local-level legislators (SALT).

A pro-SALT rally on Capitol Hill Monday was attended by Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and representatives of the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, the African American Mayors Association and Americans Against Double Taxation.

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