If the Senate is poised to reject President Trump’s American Health Care Act that narrowly passed in the House by four votes, they should feel equally resistant to his budget proposal, with its severe cuts planned for the nation’s poor.
Another roadblock for Trump emerged Tuesday, when House Speaker Paul Ryan held fast to his tax proposal opposed by Trump officials.
At the core of this possible standoff is the GOP plan to hike taxes on imports, which would effectively end a “Made in America tax,” that hurts U.S. manufacturers.
Last week, Ryan said, “I obviously think border adjustment is the smart way to go. I think it makes the tax code the most internationally competitive of any other version we’re looking at. And I think it removes all tax incentives for a firm to move… their production overseas.”
This tax reform showdown on the border adjustment tax, or BAT, bears all the problems the House faced when voting on the health care act and the decisive step to replace Obamacare. Only this time, Ryan appears to be anticipating the impasse and will rally his troops to impose his plan.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that the BAT was dead on arrival, and that seems to be the opinion of a good number of Republican senators. On the other hand, there’s Kevin Brady, who heads the House Ways and Means Committee and his alliance with Ryan.
In talking points circulated by the Committee, it took umbrage with the current tax code, citing that it “favors foreign workers and products over American workers and products.”
The statement continued, “It puts special interests before the best interests of hardworking American families. By eliminating the ‘Made in America’ tax, our Blueprint ends the penalty on work that’s done in the U.S.—and stops rewarding work that’s outsourced to other countries.”
The tax has axed a division among Republicans and for a moment it was also troubling manufacturers, although Brad Anderson, the former CEO of Best Buy, and his flip-flop on BAT may be exemplary. Anderson, once supportive of BAT has now changed his position, saying, “I’m not sure that the full impact [of BAT] would get passed along to the consumer.” He said he had been given wrong information about the tax.
No matter the outcome between Ryan and Trump, the legislation belongs to the lawmakers in the House and we know how they caved in on the health care act.