Congressional Republicans say they will release their big tax plan Thursday, but they're still reportedly working on fundamental details regarding the numbers. ABC News, meanwhile, reports that another odd but important detail remains up in the air: what to call the thing. The report says Paul Ryan reached out to President Trump to take advantage of his branding skills, and Trump came up with the "Cut, Cut, Cut Act." He's now said to be pushing hard to keep the name, while Ryan and the House's top tax writer, Kevin Brady, are resisting. We should know in a matter of hours, because Brady, chair of the House Ways and Means panel, said the bill "definitely" will be released Thursday, reports Politico. Meanwhile, three key issues: the corporate tax cut, the elimination of state and local tax deductions, and possible caps on 401(k) contributions remain under negotiation.
One possibility to expect: that the reduction of the corporate tax rate to 20%, something Trump calls a deal-breaker, will be phased in over several years rather than put into place immediately. That will help the number-crunchers pay for some of the $1.5 trillion in envisioned cuts, particularly because lawmakers in "high-tax" states are pushing back hard on the proposed elimination of local tax deductions. The New York Times reports that some big cuts may be initially presented as phase-ins, or even temporary, as part of a "place holder" strategy to buy more time for negotiations. However, they would revert to immediate cuts before the final vote is taken. The plan also may include repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits churches and other tax-exempt organizations from dabbling in politics, per the Times. Churches see it as a restriction of free speech.