Kudlow says White House working on tax cuts ahead of election

The White House is holding informal talks about a second round of tax cuts to announce during the 2020 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump’s top economic aide Larry Kudlow said Friday, reiterating previous remarks.

“There’s nothing formal in the process, I don’t have any details,” Kudlow said in an interview on Fox Business Network. “But we would like to see some middle-class tax cuts.”

Kudlow said the plan will be released next year, in time to be a campaign issue ahead of the 2020 election. Republicans are hoping to run on the message of a strong economy and draw comparisons with their Democratic rivals who are proposing tax increases to pay for expanded government services.

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Larry Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, speaks to members of the media outside the White House.

Kudlow said the administration is getting guidance from Representative Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee who helped pass the 2017 tax cuts, which slashed the corporate tax rate to 21 percent and cut individual taxes. The White House plans to talk to members of the Senate, he said.

Trump made a similar promise to cut middle-class taxes before last year’s midterm election as House Republicans struggled to counter Democratic talking points that the 2017 overhaul mostly benefited the wealthy. The president’s proposal caught Republicans off guard, and nothing advanced as Brady tried to cast it as part of a unified GOP plan to extend the 2017 cuts.

Republican leaders say they support the idea of more tax cuts, but they haven’t detailed what a plan would look like.

— Laura Davison, with assistance from Justin Sink
Bloomberg News