Freedom Caucus Demands Foregoing August Recess Until Taxes Are Reformed

Maureen Collins | June 9, 2017
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Members of the House Freedom Caucus want to reform taxes, and they don't want to wait around until the Fall to do it.

“We believe that time is of the essence,” said Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) at a Heritage Foundation event promoting tax reform Friday.

“We need to get tax reform done sooner rather than later. And by that, we should have a real proposal that we start debating before the end of July,” he added.

If that doesn't happen, Meadows has made it clear that he wants House to remain in session through the usual recess period of August to get the job done.

Meadows was joined at the Heritage Foundation by fellow Freedom Caucus members Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to discuss their plans for tax reform.

The four congressman discussed the pros and cons of the “Brady Plan,” which is the official Ways and Means tax reform agenda proposed by Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas).

The lawmakers discussed their apprehension with the Brady plan’s use of the controversial “border adjustment tax,” a tax on imported goods, an issue which has divided the Right.

“There seems to me to be two principles that guide tax policy: one, let families keep more of their money and, two, design a code that’s actually conducive to producing economic growth,” said Jordan. He continued that the border adjustment tax does not fit either of these principles.

The group also voiced concern over the plan’s “revenue neutrality.”

“I would say ‘revenue neutral’ is Washington-speak [for] saying ‘The tax burden is going to stay the same, we’re just going to shift around who pays what,” Jordan told the Daily Signal.

Brat, who is a former professor of economics, spoke of the importance of building momentum of the economic supply side.

“What’s the major problem in this country for the last 30 years?" No productivity growth,” he said.

The Left has been opposed to the Freedom Caucus' proposition to cutting back on food stamps and certain welfare programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Meadows has defended this idea, noting that altering these programs will add $400 billion dollars to the budget over the next 10 years.

Whatever the disagreements, even if they're coming from the same side of the partisan aisle, the Freedom Caucus' demands are clear: they want to start having the conversation on tax reform now.

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