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Rep. Meadows: Border adjustment tax is 'stumbling block' to tax reform

  • Rep. Mark Meadows called the border adjustment tax the "one stumbling block" keeping tax reform from moving forward in Congress.
  • Meadows says Congress should cancel its August recess in order to complete a tax reform plan by September.

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows singled out the border adjustment tax on CNBC's "Power Lunch" Tuesday as the "one stumbling block" keeping tax reform from moving forward in Congress.

"There's really one stumbling block that a lot of us are divided on: the border adjustment tax, and where you go with that," Meadows said. "If it were to be whipped today, I think there's 70 to 80 votes against the border adjustment tax. So our position has been, let's go ahead and get to something we can all agree to."

Meadows, a Republican and chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, has called for canceling Congress' August recess and keeping legislators in Washington, D.C., until the tax reform plan is completed.

Tax reform is "not a fine wine, it doesn't improve with time," Meadows said on CNBC.

Rep. Mark Meadows
Bill Clark | CQ Roll Call | Getty Images
Rep. Mark Meadows

The border adjustment tax, a value-added tax levied on imported goods, has divided Republicans in Congress. Kevin Brady, the chief tax writer for the House Ways and Means Committee, said in late May that the tax was a "critical" part of the plan for the GOP. But Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly told Democrats that he and President Donald Trump did not support the border adjustment tax.

Meadows said that tax reform needs to be completed "no later than September" in order to get it done and for any retroactive requirements to be met.

The border adjustment proposal would raise an estimated $1 trillion in tax revenue, though some estimates dispute that the boost would be enough to compensate for a much-lowered corporate tax rate.

– CNBC's Michelle Fox contributed to this report.

Watch: Rep. Brady says border adjustment tax critical