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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Promotes Trump Tax Plan: ‘We’re All on the Same Page’

Variety logo Variety 5/1/2017 Gene Maddaus
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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin touted President Trump’s tax proposal at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday morning.

In a discussion with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, Mnuchin said that the White House and House Republicans “share the same vision” for tax reductions.

“We’re all on the same page,” he said. “On 80% of the details, we’re in agreement. Another 20% we need to work through.”

The administration released an outline of a tax plan last week, which includes cutting the corporate rate to 15%, and eliminating most deductions and eliminating the alternative minimum tax. Mnuchin reiterated that the “intent” of the bill is not to lower taxes for high earners, but to offset rate cuts by the elimination of deductions.

Mnuchin also said the administration would “like to see bipartisan support” for the plan. A month ago, there was talk on Capitol Hill of pairing a tax reform bill with an infrastructure plan to win over some Democrats. But the outline issued last week did not include an infrastructure program, a sign the administration is taking a party-line approach.

“We’ve talked about putting infrastructure and tax together,” Mnuchin said. “I think we’re probably not going to do that. I think they’re both complicated issues.”

Mnuchin said the administration would go through the Senate reconciliation process — which requires only a simple majority — if Democrats do not come on board.

If passed, Mnuchin projected the tax plan could result in 3% GDP growth in two years.

“This is really our version of a jobs bill,” he said. “The sooner we can pass taxes, the sooner we can get regulatory relief, the better we’ll be.”

Mnuchin is a Goldman Sachs alum who financed films for many years through Dune Capital. Asked if he was enjoying his new job in Washington, he said, “People ask me if I’m having fun. Fun is hanging out in L.A. [Being treasury secretary] is the most interesting thing I’ve ever done.”

Speaking in front of a business audience, Mnuchin also made reassurances that Trump supports trade and legal immigration. He also argued that Trump is open to new ideas.

“He really does listen,” he said. “He takes in a lot of input and he does listen.”

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