Tax reform is coming in September, Trump economic advisor Gary Cohn says

Key Points
  • Cohn said tax reform is "absolutely" happening, regardless of what occurs with health care.
  • The White House will be "100 percent engaged" on tax reform in September.
Gary Cohn
Mary Catherine Wellons | CNBC

Tax reform is coming in September, regardless of what happens with health care, says Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council.

President Donald Trump has promised tax reform since taking office in January, but some have questioned whether he can accomplish it this year, especially if Congress' attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act fail. Cohn dismissed concerns, telling MSNBC on Thursday that the White House will "absolutely" get tax reform done.

"We were going to get to tax reform if this passes or it doesn't pass," Cohn said, referring to the Senate's health-care bill. "We are on a tax reform agenda when we come back in September when the August recess is over. We will be 100 percent engaged in tax reform."

The two areas Cohn said the administration has to work on to grow the economy are the tax code and regulations.

He also pushed back at criticism that the Trump administration's goal of reaching 3 percent GDP is unrealistic. Shortly before Cohn's interview aired, the Commerce Department released figures showing GDP increased at a 1.4 percent annual rate.

"We do not think 3 percent GDP is that lofty of a goal," Cohn said. "We think we're setting very realistic expectations."

Cohn sidestepped responding to speculation he might succeed Janet Yellen as Fed chairman, saying he has the opportunity to reform the tax code and infrastructure.

"Both are phenomenal opportunities."