Trump weighs in on Republicans’ tax bills, possibly throwing a monkey wrench into their plan

President Donald Trump.

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President Donald Trump.
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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

  • President Donald Trump tweeted about the Republican tax plans on Monday.
  • Trump said a tax bill should include the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate.
  • That would raise revenue for the bill but complicate the political math.

President Donald Trump on Monday weighed in via Twitter on the latest GOP tax plans.

Trump praised new bills in the House and the Senate, both called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but suggested a few additions.

“I am proud of the Rep. House & Senate for working so hard on cutting taxes {& reform.} We’re getting close!” Trump tweeted from Asia, where he is attending an economic summit in the Philippines. “Now, how about ending the unfair & highly unpopular Indiv Mandate in OCare & reducing taxes even further? Cut top rate to 35% w/all of the rest going to middle income cuts?”

Trump’s tweet reiterated a long-standing push for a tax bill to include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s tax penalty for not having health insurance. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined in a report Wednesday that the mandate’s repeal would decrease the federal deficit by $338 billion over the next 10 years but would also leave 13 million more people without coverage than under current law.

Sens. Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton have also advocated the repeal, with Cruz attacking the House tax bill because it does not include the provision. (The Senate legislation also does not include it.)

Trump and others have argued that the move would allow Republicans to make their tax plan more generous, including cutting the top tax rate to 35%. The House bill in its current form would keep the top rate at 39.5%, while the Senate version would lower it slightly to 38.5%.

Whether repealing the mandate would be enough to offset the reduced rate Trump proposes is unclear. If it falls short, it would add another difficult layer to the already complex math issue Republican leaders are facing, since the bill can add no more than $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years under budget rules.

Adding healthcare into the already contentious tax issue could also complicate the political math. Senate Republicans were unable to pass a bill repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, over the summer, and a repeal of the individual mandate could face similar pushback from some Republican senators.