Florida Rep. Ron Desantis is calling on fiscal conservatives in Congress to focus on spending cuts, as well as tax cuts, as they work to pass a tax reform package.
DeSantis’ comments follow the release of a report from the Joint Committee on Taxation projecting that the tax reform measure being considered in the Senate would grow the deficit by $1 trillion raising the concern of deficit hawks in Congress.
On Thursday, the Senate appeared to move closer to passing a $1.4 trillion tax-cut package when Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) announced his support for the tax reform bill. But then came the report from the committee.
Despite the committee’s projection that the measure would add a $1 trillion to the budget, Desantis believes the tax reform bill is necessary to help grow the economy.
“What I am trying to focus on is what are we doing to make sure that we keep and retain capitol here in the United States,” DeSantis said during an interview on CNN Friday morning. “We have a global economy. Our business structure is not competitive. We have trillions of dollars we’d like to see come back and reinvested in the United States.”
The measure would slash tax rates on corporations and lower rates on many individuals.
“I believe this legislation, though far from perfect, would enhance American competitiveness, boost the economy, and provide long overdue tax relief for middle class families,” McCain said.
But the reform bill ran into problems when the committee released its forecast, raising the concerns of fiscal conservatives Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Sen. Jeff Flakes (R-AZ), and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI).
Desantis believes the impact the tax-cut bill would have on the deficit would be closer to $500 billion.
“If you look at that extra $500 billion, I would suggest members of my party that crow about government wasting money and big government, why don’t we get together and figure out a way to slow down the growth of spending. I think you could easily do it,” DeSantis told CNN.
“Some of the members on the Republican side who are criticizing it for the deficit, I mean I have a concern about that, too, but some of those folks vote for big spending increases, big omnibus bills,” DeSantis added. “That’s part of the issue, too. It’s not just the tax side. You can’t just project uninterrupted spending increases as a Republican and say ‘we’re fine with that.’ We’re supposed to be the party that wants to streamline government.”
As of Friday morning, the tax reform bill appeared to regain some of its momentum as GOP Sens. Johnson and Steve Daines signaled their support for the bill. That leaves Republican leaders needing to bring one one more vote onboard. The three Republican senators still undecided are Corker, Flake and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.