Treasury Secretary Mnuchin: 'I Have No Doubt' That Congress Will Pass Tax Bill This Week

By Susan Jones | December 18, 2017 | 5:05am EST
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. (Photo: Screen grab/Fox News)

( - "Can you say flatly that Congress will pass this tax plan this week and send it to the president to sign before Christmas?" Fox News's Chris Wallace asked Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Sunday:

"I can," Mnuchin replied. "It's a historic moment, and we're excited to be here."

"And you have no doubts that Congress will pass it this week?" Wallace followed up.

"I have no doubt," Mnuchin said. "This has been a terrific process with the House and Senate working together in conference, and there is a terrific bill that's going to get to the president to sign."

Republican Sen. John McCain will miss the vote because he's convalescing in his home state of Arizona.

Wallace also pressed Mnuchin on tax breaks for the wealthy and for corporations: "Do wealthy Americans need all of those tax breaks?" he asked Mnuchin.

"Well, Chris, first of all, the reason why we're lowering the top rate is because we're getting rid of lots and lots of deductions. And there's a big part of the country that has state and local taxes that we're getting rid of. As a matter of fact, (Democrat Sen. Chuck) Schumer has been complaining about taxes going up on rich people in New York. So, it's just not the case that there's all those taxes going to rich people."

Mnuchin said the tax bill is "all about middle income tax cuts."

"This is a historic event to fix a broken tax system," he added.

Mnuchin told CNN's "State of the Union" with Jake Tapper that "working families" will get "very large tax cuts," as will businesses, "to make them competitive."

"A family of four making $75,000 will get about a $2,000 tax cut, and a family of four making $150,000 will get almost $4,000," Mnuchin said. "Plus, we think, as a result of lowering business taxes, wages will go up. So, this is a huge opportunity for creating jobs, creating tax cuts for working families."

Tapper noted that the final legislation lowers the top tax rate for individuals from 39.6 percent to 37 percent. Married couples making $600,000 or more will be taxed at the new, lower 37 percent rate.

"To say the rich will not be gaining at all with this plan, I don't see any way in which that is true," Tapper said.

"Well, Jake, let me explain to you how that is true, because we're getting rid of lots and lots of deductions," Mnuchin said.

"The biggest is, we're capping state and local reductions at $10,000. So one of the things we were very sensitive to is the high-tax states make up a big part of the economy. So, even lowering the top rate from 36.6 to 37, in the high-tax states, actually, rich people's taxes will be going up.

"And the reason why we lowered the top rate is because we're very sensitive to --that's a very large part of the economy. But the president was right. There are people who are rich people that are having their taxes going up."

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