Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Trump, House Republicans discuss further tax cuts at White House

By David Morgan and Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump and Republican U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday discussed another possible round of deficit-financed tax cuts, highlighting an initiative seen by some tax experts as an election-year effort with little chance of becoming law.

Trump sat down at the White House with Kevin Brady, chairman of the House of Representatives tax-writing committee, and a handful of other Republicans from the panel to plot a path forward on further tax cuts that would appeal to their conservative political base ahead of the Nov. 6 elections.

The discussion began only after Trump sought to defuse intense criticism leveled at him by lawmakers in both parties over his summit meeting on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, saying he misspoke about Moscow's meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Trump then introduced Brady to reporters gathered in the conference room. Facing Trump, Brady said, "We're here to talk to you about making permanent this tax relief." After Brady's brief remarks, reporters were removed from the room by shouting Trump aides.

Over the unanimous opposition of Democrats, Republicans in Congress in December passed deep tax cuts for corporations on a permanent basis, and for individuals, families and private businesses on a temporary basis.

Republicans have described the cuts as critical to boosting U.S. economic expansion. Democrats have called the cuts a giveaway to corporations and the wealthy that will run up deficits and burden U.S. taxpayers for years to come.

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