Trump turns to taxes after Obamacare blow

After failing to repeal Obamacare, Republicans in the US Congress quickly pivoted on Friday to President Donald Trump’s next priority: overhauling the federal tax code, but their plan has already split the business community.

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Division among Republicans was the chief cause of the embarrassing setback on Obamacare, and similar faultlines have been evident for months in the Republicans’ tax plan, mainly over an untested proposal to use the tax code to boost exports.

House of Representatives tax committee Chairman Kevin Brady conceded the demise of a Republican plan to roll back Obamacare could make the path to tax reform harder.

“This made a big challenge more challenging. But it’s not insurmountable,” he told Fox News after Ryan cancelled a vote on an Obamacare rollback bill.

But Brady said he and speaker Paul Ryan are all-in on tax reform.

Brady said House Republicans plan to begin moving on tax reform this spring and to pass legislation before Congress’s summer recess in late July.

“We’re going to work with the administration to get this done,” he said.

Trump has been unclear about his position on the most problematic feature of the House Republicans’ tax “blueprint,” a proposal known as the border adjustment tax that would cut taxes on exports and raise them on imports.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that tax reform in many ways is “a lot simpler” than healthcare reform.

“We’re able to take the tax code and redesign things and I think there is very, very strong support,” Mnuchin said at an event hosted by news website Axios.

Comprehensive tax reform is a policy goal so complex that it has defied successive Congresses and presidents since 1986 when it was last accomplished under former President Ronald Reagan.