Before the election, Trump inked a “contract with the American voter” saying he’d work with Congress to present an ambitious tax reform plan within the first 100 days of his presidency. In early February he told a roomful of CEOs that his administration would be announcing something “phenomenal in terms of tax” within two to three weeks. Then his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in late February moved the deadline back, saying a plan would be ready by August. But none of those things are likely to happen.
The Associated Press reported Monday that the president has “scrapped the tax plan he campaigned on,” as Republicans struggle to come up with a unified plan for how to remake the U.S. tax system. (An analysis of Trump’s tax plan when he was a candidate showed it would lower tax rates on all income levels, but it would benefit the richest Americans the most, while cutting federal revenues and raising the federal debt.)
A near-term failure to get anything done on tax reform would be another significant blow for the president’s domestic agenda, after courts blocked his travel ban from majority-Muslim countries and the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act—known as Obamacare—came to naught.
The Obamacare revamp foundered because the White House and GOP leadership couldn’t wrangle enough Republican votes for the bill, known as the American Health Care Act. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the bill said that up to 24 million Americans might no longer have health care if the Republican legislation became the law of the land. The bill proved to be tremendously unpopular.