Top GOP Tax Member Says ‘Revenue Neutrality’ Still a Priority

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady said at an event on Wednesday that the House GOP tax blueprint would not add to the federal deficit in the long run.

The Texas Republican was responding to a Politico story that reported President Donald Trump is considering cutting taxes without corresponding moves to raise revenue.

“The most pro-growth approach we can take, and the most fiscally responsible approach we can take, is to break even with the budget, counting on solid, verifiable economic growth,” Brady said during an audience Q&A at a Financial Services Roundtable event. Revenue neutrality is “part of that discussion,” with the Trump economic team, Brady said.

In his speech, Brady cautioned against increasing the deficit.

“Perhaps the greatest threat we face is a government that lives beyond its means and consistently does,” he said. Spending cuts would help remedy that, but “to finish the job and actually begin paying down the national debt, we need a much stronger economy.”

Brady also said the border adjustment provision is an essential element of the House GOP plan. That measure, a revenue booster that would tax imports while exempting exports, has garnered controversy from retailers who fear it will hurt their business models. Trump called it “too complicated” in a recent Wall Street Journal interview, though he walked back that criticism in a later Axios interview.

“It will stay in,” Brady told reporters Wednesday. It may be challenged in the World Trade Organization, but will likely hold up to scrutiny, Brady said.

The White House did not respond to an immediate request for comment on the Politico story or Brady’s remarks.

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