There will be no tax reform package if a border adjustment tax is not included, Rep. Devin Nunes, a member of the Ways and Means Committee, told CNBC on Tuesday.
"I don't know any other way to do it. We've long looked at this. We've had exhaustive hearing after hearing after hearing for eight years," the California Republican said in an interview with "Power Lunch."
"The only way we can get our tax code into the 21st century and make America the most competitive place on the planet is to move to a full consumption-based system," added Nunes, who said he was speaking for himself and not his fellow Republicans.
The controversial measure is part of the GOP's overall tax plan and would tax imports and exempt exports.
On Wednesday, the chief executives of several retailers, including Target and Best Buy, are heading to Washington to make their case against the tax. They believe it would raise consumer prices and hurt their businesses.
Nunes pointed out that it is not a new tax. Instead, lawmakers want to scrap the existing tax code and move to a consumption-based system, he said.
"All the plan says is that everyone is going to be on the same playing field and anything that's consumed in the country is going to pay the same amount of tax."
When asked if he believed President Donald Trump would be willing to give up tax reform if the border adjustment tax wasn't included, Nunes replied, "I'm always open to new suggestions."
— Reuters contributed to this report.