Graham Says House GOP Tax Plan Is Likely Dead In The Senate


By Juliegrace Brufke

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested it’s unlikely the House Republican “A Better Way” tax blueprint will make it through the Senate during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday.

Graham noted a number of members have hesitations about the proposal’s language on border adjustability, which would tax imports while excluding exports.

“The Congress is stumbling. Republicans in the Congress — we’re all tied up in knots,”he said. “The House is talking about a tax plan that won’t get 10 votes in the Senate.”

The border adjustment tax is a critical component of the blueprint, generating more than a trillion dollars in revenue. Ryan met with GOP senators at a lunch last week where he reportedly told them to keep their “powder dry.” But not all members were receptive to the discussion.

“Many other senators share these concerns and we most certainly will not ‘keep our powder dry,’” Sen. Tom Cotton said last week on the Senate floor.

While powerful members in the House have been highly supportive of the plan, critics argue it will place a financial burden on consumers.

“I heard ‘keep your powder dry‘ as, ‘Don’t articulate your cogent arguments against our bad idea,’” a senator told Politico after the lunch. “I have not yet talked to a single senator who’s enthusiastic about it. Ryan and [Ways and Means Chairman Kevin] Brady seem to have a near-theological commitment to it.”

House Republicans are hoping to have tax reform passed by August recess.

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