Ryan Makes Emphatic Plea for Tax Plan Seen ‘on Life Support’

Bloomberg Politics

Feb. 17, 2017

By John McCormick, Anna Edgerton and Ben Brody

Not long after House Speaker Paul Ryan offered a full-throated affirmation of his tax-overhaul plan, an influential conservative group announced a grassroots campaign against it and a Senate leader said a key part of the proposal is “on life support.”

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn was diagnosing Ryan’s plan to replace the U.S. corporate income tax with a new, “border-adjusted” levy on U.S. companies’ domestic sales and imports. The proposal has stirred sharp divisions among businesses: Retailers, automakers and oil refiners that rely on imported goods and materials oppose it, while export-heavy manufacturers support it.

So far, the opponents are winning, interviews with lawmakers, lobbyists and tax specialists show. As Congress prepares to depart Washington for a one-week break, Cornyn said he didn’t see the votes lining up for the House leaders’ plan.

“The hard reality is the border tax is on life support, and given the imperative of 51 senators and 218 House members and one president, I think we need to look for other options,” he said.
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