Here are 5 reasons Trump and Congress are struggling with tax reform

A tax reform plan was supposedly imminent when President Trump met with airline executives at the White House on Feb. 9.

“We’re way ahead of schedule,” Trump said then. “We’re going to be announcing something, I would say, over the next two or three weeks that will be phenomenal in terms of tax.”

Nearly 10 weeks later, Trump told a crowd in Wisconsin on Tuesday a plan was “coming along very well” and would be out “very soon.” But the administration’s goal of getting a bill to Trump’s desk by the end of August is now considered “highly aggressive to not realistic,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told The Financial Times, and members of Congress say final action may not happen until the end of the year, if it happens at all.

Here’s a look at five hurdles that still stand in the way

Unclear goals

A House GOP “blueprint” for reform would overhaul both individual and corporate rates, and so would a less-detailed plan that Trump unveiled during the campaign. Trump’s plan would have significantly increased the deficit, while the House plan was “revenue neutral,” meaning that after rates were cut and deductions and credits were eliminated, the government would still receive the same amount of money.

At the same time, Trump has talked about tax reform being a way to fund a $1 trillion infrastructure program.

So before a bill can be written, the players need to agree whether the end result lowers the deficit, keeps it the same, or increases it.

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