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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that President's Trump tax reform plan will be "the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country," during an event hosted by The Hill on Wednesday. He also confirmed that the plan would include a 15 percent corporate tax rate.

Our thought bubble: Previous analyses estimated that the corporate tax cut (from 35 to 15 percent) would significantly increase the deficit. The administration has no real plan to pay for tax cuts beyond their belief that tax and regulatory reform will juice economic growth to 3 percent.

The details:

  • Mnuchin's comments suggested the administration doesn't support the "border adjustment" tax provision in its current form, which is one way they could pay for the 15 percent tax rate.
  • "We don't think it works in its current form and we're going to continue to have discussions with them about revisions," Mnuchin said.
  • The hike on import taxes, which would raise more than $1 trillion over 10 years, is the centerpiece of Paul Ryan's tax reform plan and the main way House Republican leadership plans to pay for massive tax cuts.
  • "The tax plan will pay for itself with economic growth," Mnuchin told reporters on Monday.
  • Mnuchin wants to make tax cuts permanent, but if they're not revenue neutral and can only be kept for 10 years (under budget rules) then that's better than nothing.
  • He's determined not to let the debt ceiling become a last-minute standoff crisis that would spook markets, but he wouldn't be drawn on congressional strategy to get it done.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.

Jan. 6 committee recommends contempt charges against Bannon

Steve Bannon. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night recommending that former Trump aide Steve Bannon be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena.

Why it matters: The resolution sets up a House vote to refer Bannon for potential criminal prosecution, signaling that the committee will not tolerate attempts by former President Trump and his associates to stymie the investigation.

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