WASHINGTON — The Trump administration prepared Wednesday to release a tax reform plan that calls for big corporate rate cuts and an increase in standard deductions, a pricey package that could face an uphill climb in Congress.
“This is going to be the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country and we are committed to seeing this through," Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said during a morning forum sponsored by The Hill.
Republicans greeted news of the tax cut plan enthusiastically, though some GOP members and Democrats worried that the plan would further increase federal debt, cutting taxes without increasing income or cutting other parts of government.
"The Trump tax plan does not pay for itself" and "doesn’t even come close," said Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif. "America is a great nation, but we haven’t yet discovered magic."
Aides said Trump will call for a sharp cut in the corporate tax rate, from 35% to 15%. He will also call for lowering the rates for so-called “pass-throughs” or "S corporations," small organizations that currently file returns under the individual tax code. Tax rates for individuals would also be lowered, with fewer tax brackets overall.
The package to be released Wednesday is not expected to include infrastructure programs, a child care tax credit, and other items to be introduced in later months, officials said.
While Trump will push for higher standard deductions, allowing filers to shield more income from taxation, it is not yet clear what the new deductions would be. Filers can currently claim standard deduction of $6,300 for individuals and $12,600 for married couples filing jointly.
The administration had originally planned to roll out their tax reform plan later this year. But Trump announced last week he would unveil it Wednesday, part of a week-long series of events leading up to his 100th day in office on Saturday.
Mnuchin wouldn't put a time frame on congressional approval, saying that "we’re working hard to get it done quickly.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said "Today, the administration will outline its principles for pro-growth tax reform, which is a critical step forward in this effort. Pro-growth tax reform means that we will have lower rates, we will have a simpler tax code with fewer brackets, and we will have an IRS that exists only to serve the taxpayer."
While the Treasury Secretary and other officials said the tax cuts would stimulate the economy and generate economic growth to increase government revenues, some members of Congress expressed skepticism about those projections.