Trump calls for tax reform to repeal individual mandate as lawmakers debate

President Donald Trump on Monday challenged congressional Republicans to use tax reform to repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate and slash the top tax rate for the wealthiest Americans to 35 percent, potentially throwing up new hurdles for legislation moving in Congress.

Neither the House bill nor the Senate version under consideration repeals the individual mandate or proposes a top rate that is as low as Trump suggested on Monday.

“I am proud of the Rep. House & Senate for working so hard on cutting taxes {& reform.} We’re getting close!” Trump tweeted Monday morning. “Now, how about ending the unfair & highly unpopular Indiv Mandate in OCare & reducing taxes even further? Cut top rate to 35% w/all of the rest going to middle income cuts?”

The House plan keeps the top tax rate at 39.6 percent but makes other changes to the tax brackets. The Senate’s does reduce the top rate — but not below 35 percent.

House leaders plan to vote on their bill this week. The measure is expected to go to the House Rules Committee on Wednesday, with Republicans holding a floor vote on Thursday or Friday. Speaker Paul Ryan is not expected to make any significant changes to the bill before the chamber votes.

In the Senate, the Finance Committee will mark up its bill Monday afternoon. Senate Republicans have discussed repealing the individual mandate in their tax bill, but it’s unclear whether they have the votes.

The Congressional Budget Office projected last week that repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate would save the government $338 billion over a decade but leave 13 million more Americans uninsured in 2027.

The White House has reportedly drafted an executive order to repeal the individual mandate should Congress fail to do it.


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