Capitol Correspondence - 01.30.17

GOP Leaders Set Goal to Overhaul ACA, Tax System within Six Months

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On January 26 at a GOP policy retreat, Republican Congressional leaders and President Trump said that they plan on repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and overhauling the tax system in the next six months, changing the expectation for an immediate repeal of the ACA. Democrat lawmakers, joined by some prominent Republicans, have said that the ACA should not be repealed unless or until there is a replacement plan in place. Though the sweeping health care law can be repealed without bipartisan support, passing a replacement will require votes from the minority party. 
Tax reform plans discussed focused mainly on reducing foreign trade deficits, increasing American exports, and generating revenue from Mexico to offset the costs of constructing a border wall. Last week, Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer said the administration’s tax reform place would include a 20 percent tariff on goods imported from Mexico. 
These discussions are taking place against the context of the government again needing to address the debt ceiling, which will be reached in March. The current continuing resolution has the government funded into April, at which point legislative action will need to happen to forestall another government shutdown.