Lobbying on Tax Reform

President Trump is ready to sign a tax reform bill in the fall. However, the last time Congress “overhauled the tax code” was in 1986. At that time, it seemed impossible to pass a broad bill with only Republican votes, according to Politico. Therefore, tax lobbyists are attempting to predict what the bill that gets passed will look like. “Some are pushing for Republicans to embrace a long-shot strategy to tie tax reform to an infrastructure spending package to bring Democrats on board. Others have given up hope that Congress will be able to pass anything more than a temporary tax cut for individuals- maybe the only measure that can attract 50 Republican votes in the Senate.”

Some who were working on the Hill in 1986 suggest that the bill will include lower rates and some business tax changes, with some temporary tax cuts. Lobbyists say that “Republicans don’t seem to have made enough progress to get a bill to the president’s desk by the end of the year.” However, even the potential for tax reform has caused tax lobbying to skyrocket. “Lobbying firms have signed 355 contracts to lobby on taxes so far this year…That’s more than double the 152 contracts signed in the same period last year.”

However, Congress is not likely to make any headway on tax reform before it solves the issue of raising the debt ceiling and preventing a government shutdown. Further, the difference between the reform bill of the 1980s and what is being proposed today is that the bill did not hit Reagan’s desk until two years after it started being discussed. Also, Reagan had a 60% approval rating at the time, whereas Trump’s approval rating currently lies at 36%.

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