The White House will release on Wednesday the “broad principles and priorities” of their plans to overhaul federal taxes, a White House official said Friday night, downplaying expectations that the Trump administration would reveal key details underpinning the plan.
President Trump said earlier Friday that he would release new information about his plan to overhaul the tax code on Wednesday, a sign that he is trying to accelerate one of his most ambitious campaign promises even though key specifics remain undetermined.
“We’ll be having a big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform,” Trump said Friday while visiting the Treasury Department. “The process has begun long ago but it really formally begins on Wednesday.”
Addressing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Trump said, “So, go to it.”
A White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The Washington Post on Friday night that while the president did plan to make an announcement on tax reform next week, it will be broad in nature.
“[W] e will outline our broad principles and priorities,” the official said. “We are moving forward on comprehensive tax reform that cuts tax rates for individuals, simplifies our overly-complicated system and creates jobs by making American businesses competitive.”
Trump’s statement earlier on Friday had caught many congressional aides — and even some administration officials — off guard, as they thought they were working on a slower timetable.
With his unexpected comments, Trump has jolted the process forward as he tries to breathe new life into an effort that risked becoming bogged down like other campaign priorities.
But if he only issues the broad outline of a plan, he could further complicate lawmakers and many in the business community, who have been hoping the White House would weigh in on key questions, such as how it plans to tax imports or whether it will pursue the elimination of any tax deductions.
Trump plans a major cut in tax rates, focused on simplifying the tax code for individuals and families, lowering the corporate tax rate and a large tax cut for the middle class. He has also said he wants to create some sort of “reciprocity” tax that imposes a tariff-like tax on imports from countries that have tariffs against the United States.
Earlier Friday, Trump told the Associated Press in an interview that the tax cuts he would propose would be “massive” and perhaps the biggest of all time.
Mnuchin has worked on the tax plan for months, but details have remained fluid, with White House officials considering a range of options in how they restructure the tax code. White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn suggested Thursday that many of the details were still in flux during comments he made to the Institute of International Finance.