AP NEWS

Nebraska congressman believes tax reform can be passed by year’s end

December 8, 2017 GMT

WASHINGTON D.C. - Congressman Adrian Smith says the greatest difference between the House and Senate plans is when the corporate tax cut takes effect.

The House bill lowers that tax rate to 20 percent next year, while the Senate bill does it in 2019.

“That’s a big one right there, but I’m confident they can work that out,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network. “I say the sooner we can engage that, the better off we are. It is a situation that would be better for the economy.”

Smith thinks reconciling the differences in the permanency of the individual tax cut will be easier to negotiate. The House bill makes those permanent. The Senate’s version has those expire at the end of 2025.

Another difference is the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

Smith would like to see that go, because he says it penalizes individuals for not getting insurance, or buying a different type of coverage, is not fair.

“I heard from a constituent who found a plan of her own that was not compliant with the individual mandate, therefore she had to pay the fine,” he explains, “but she got the coverage that she needed that protected herself, that protected taxpayers from having to take care of her.”

The House-passed bill keeps the individual mandate, but the Senate’s version eliminates it.

Taxpayers would save $338 billion over ten years without it, but the number of uninsured Americans would rise.

While Smith admits the proposed tax reform is not revenue neutral, he says it heads the country in that direction.

The Senate-passed bill will add nearly $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next ten years, not accounting for economic growth.

Smith says tax reform will grow the economy.

“When you look, historically, at what I believe the 1986 tax reform did for teeing up economic growth, that was the right thing to do. We are doing that again,” he says.