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Remarks in a Meeting With Members of the Senate Committee on Finance and an Exchange With Reporters

October 18, 2017

The President. Thank you very much. I'm honored to welcome Republican and Democratic Members of the Senate Finance Committee to the White House. I'd especially like to thank Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch—thank you, Orrin.

Senator Orrin G. Hatch. Thank you.

The President. And Ranking Member Ron Wyden for joining us today. Thank you very much. Thank you, Ron.

Senator Ronald L. Wyden. Thank you, Mr. President.

The President. We're here to discuss our plan to deliver historic tax cuts for American families, businesses, workers. It will be the largest tax cut in the history of our country.

Here's some of the highlights from our framework. We are doubling the amount of income that is taxed at the zero bracket. In other words, the zero bracket—many people will be able to take advantage of that bracket that are not in that bracket.

We're increasing the child tax credit. We will end the estate tax, sometimes referred to as the death tax.

We will cut the business tax rate from the highest in the developed world at 35 percent to no more than 20 percent. According to the Council of Economic Advisers, reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent would increase average household income by $4,000 a year. So each household, on average, would take in $4,000, and they'll go out and they'll spend that money, and that will be great for the economy.

We're cutting taxes on small businesses to the lowest rate in more than 80 years. For 30 million Americans who own small businesses, it will be a 40 percent tax cut, and they will thrive, and they will expand, and they will be happy.

For at least the next 5 years, businesses and manufacturers will be able to expense the full value of new equipment in the year in which they buy it—something which nobody even thought in terms of, and something which will have, I think, one of the biggest impacts on our economy.

We will impose a one-time low tax on trillions of dollars of wealth parked overseas to encourage companies to bring back those profits and bring them back home and spend the money at home where it belongs. Right now they can't bring the money back in because there are bureaucratic problems, because of certain legislation, and most importantly, because the tax rate is so high that only a very foolish company head would bring the money back in. I think the numbers could even hit the $4 trillion mark. People have been saying $2.5 trillion for many years, but we know it's now much higher than that.

The vast majority of Americans will be able to file their taxes on a single sheet of paper, because not only will these be massive tax cuts, but these will be a big simplification. It's going to be a very big simplification. So it's really tax cuts and reform, but I focus on tax cuts because it's such an important weapon to get our country really moving. So we'll go from being one of the highest taxed nations in the world to the one of the lowest taxed, meaning more jobs, higher wages, and more products stamped with the words "Made in the U.S.A."

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, in my opinion. This is something that will be really unique. The timing is right. I have had people on both sides—and I promised not to mention the name of the people on the other sides, or names—but a lot of people are liking this very much, and I think we'll have tremendous support.

We're going to restore America's competitive edge, rebuild America's middle class—very much aimed at the middle class—and renew the promise of the American Dream.

We're going to have companies pouring back into our country instead of leaving our country. And we're not going to have them leave and fire everybody and make products and sell them back into our country totally untaxed. All we do is end up with lots of people without jobs and no product. It's not going to happen anymore.

So I just want to thank everybody for being here. It's a great honor. We're going to have a great discussion today, and I'm sure we'll have unanimous support. [Laughter] I have no doubt, right? Right, Ron? I think, right.

So thank you very much, everybody. Appreciate it.

Q. Mr. President, why did you change your mind on health care? Why did you change your mind on the health care bill?

President's Telephone Conversation With Wife of Servicemember Killed in Action/Representative Frederica S. Wilson

Q. Mr. President, what did you say to Sergeant Johnson's widow on the phone yesterday?

The President. Didn't say what that Congresswoman said; didn't say it all. She knows it. And she now is not saying it. I did not say what she said, and I'd like her to make the statement again, because I did not say what she said. I had a very nice conversation with the woman, with the wife who is—sounded like a lovely woman. Did not say what the Congresswoman said, and most people aren't too surprised to hear that.

Q. What is the proof, Mr. President?

The President. Let her make her statement again, and then you'll find out.

Q. She is saying that she did—you said this—the Congresswoman.

The President. Okay, let her make her statement again, and then you'll find out.

Health Care Reform

Q. Mr. President, on health care, where do you stand on a bipartisan health care bill?

The President. Well, we'll see the bipartisan. We're going to see the bipartisan. And Lamar Alexander is working on it very hard from our side. And if something can happen, that's fine. But I won't do anything to enrich the insurance companies, because right now, the insurance companies are being enriched. They've been enriched by Obamacare like nothing anybody has ever seen before. I am not going to do anything to enrich the insurance companies.

Okay, thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:34 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, who was present during the President's condolence call to Myeshia Johnson, wife of Sgt. La David T. Johnson, USA, who was killed in an ambush in southwest Niger during an advise-and-assist mission with Nigerien security forces on October 4; and Sen. A. Lamar Alexander, Jr.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks in a Meeting With Members of the Senate Committee on Finance and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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