President Trump restated his campaign goals of lowering the corporate tax rate to 15 percent and offering new tax benefits for child care in a speech on tax reform in Springfield, Mo., Wednesday, although he didn't offer any new details.
Neither of those ambitions were included in the joint statement on tax principles that the Trump administration released with congressional Republicans in July. That brief, broad statement is the most detailed account yet of what the GOP hopes to do on taxes this year. Yet Trump's remarks at the Loren Cook Co. suggest that he hasn't given up on some of his own ideas.
"Ideally ... we would like to bring our business tax rate down to 15 percent," Trump said in his speech, highlighting the difference between the 35 percent corporate tax rate in the U.S. and lower rates in other developed nations.
"We cannot restore our wealth if we continue to put our businesses at such a tremendous disadvantage," he said.
A 15 percent rate would be an extremely ambitious target.
Trump also said that tax legislation must lower taxes for middle-class families.
"This includes helping parents afford child care and the cost of raising a family," Trump said.
"That's so important to Ivanka Trump," he said, referring to his daughter. "It's one of her real big beliefs."
Ivanka Trump, now a White House official, backed the idea of deductions and credits for child care-related expenses on the campaign trail and has met with members of Congress on the topic.
Trump's campaign version of the child care credits and deductions would have cost about $500 billion in revenue over 10 years, according to the Tax Foundation, an outside group. Those are funds that many Republicans in Congress would rather see applied to tax rate reductions.
Still, the focus of Trump's speech was the politics of tax reform, not the details. He described tax legislation as a must-have for the middle class and part of a set of policies to bring back jobs and wealth from overseas. He also singled out Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri to pressure her to vote with Republicans.
The address drew praise from leading Republicans, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
"Today the president made clear he is committed to remaking the tax code in a way that will help propel our economy forward and produce bigger paychecks, better jobs, and more opportunity for all Americans," Hatch said.
But although Trump said he wanted the effort to be bipartisan, he met with skepticism from Democratic leaders.
"Work with Democrats, Mr. President? Your office hasn't called ..." tweeted Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee.