Feb 7, 2017

Inside the Freedom Caucus meeting on border adjustment

On Tuesday afternoon, members of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus met with top tax guy Kevin Brady on Capitol Hill to discuss his controversial "border adjustment tax."

No fireworks in the meeting, according to one source in the room and another briefed on the conversation. That doesn't mean, however, that Freedom Caucus members are about to embrace GOP leadership's plan to raise $1.2 trillion by raising taxes on imports and lowering them on exports.

Some Freedom Caucus members support border adjustability but a source with a good grasp on the group's numbers says the majority still opposes it.

What's next: Everyone following this issue agrees that the key variable now is Donald Trump. If the President decides to get forcefully behind the plan — and he seems to be inching up to it — he could intimidate House members into following him. The Senate will be tougher but lots of members understand that 2017 is a now-or-never year for tax reform. If Trump, Paul Ryan, Steve Bannon, and committee chairs like Brady all pile on, the plan will be hard for many to resist.

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