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Exclusive: White House doesn't foresee shutdown, Trump wants 20 percent corporate tax

Exclusive: White House doesn't foresee shutdown, Trump wants 20 percent corporate tax
From Reuters - December 7, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House is confident it can craft a deal to avoid a government shutdown and foresees a compromise with lawmakers that will include increases in defense and non-defense spending, White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said on Thursday.

In an interview with Reuters, Short also said Trump wanted a corporate tax rate of 20 percent in the tax cut package being debated in Congress despite the president saying recently that it could end up higher.

Trump held a meeting with Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress on Thursday to work on bridging differences over the U.S. budget and avoid a stop in government services.

We have been willing to go along with additional spending on the non-defense side, Short said of a potential compromise deal on government spending.

Im hopeful that ... we find a pathway to get a two-year budget cap deal that enables budget writers to put together a bill for fiscal year 2018 with boundaries for fiscal year 2019 as well, he said.

Short said the White House stood firmly behind the goal of a 20-percent corporate tax rate as part of the planned tax overhaul currently in Congress.

Trumps recent reference to a possible 22-percent corporate tax rate was only a product of conversations he had had with lawmakers, Short said.

I think he was just reflecting what conversations he had heard from them, but that ... wasnt intended to signal: this is an endorsement of raising the corporate rate, he said.

When youre seeing countries like Great Britain go below 20, youre seeing Ireland at 12 percent, potentially going to single digits, 20 percent is about as high as we feel comfortable going.

Short said he expected Congress to approve the Republicans tax effort this year, though Trump may not sign it until 2018.

He said the White House supported a deal agreed with Senator Susan Collins that would restore billions of dollars of subsidy payments, called cost-sharing reductions, or CSRs, to health insurers, in exchange for her support for the tax bill.

CONFIDENT OF NO SHUTDOWN

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