The top House tax writer on Wednesday signaled that Congress could still propose changes to a popular retirement savings plan in its tax bill, contradicting an assurance made by President Donald Trump.
At a Christian Science Monitor event, Rep. Kevin Brady said Republicans are "exploring a number of ideas" to "create incentives for Americans to save more and save sooner." The House is "continuing discussions with the president" in that area, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman said.
"I do have a worry. Not enough Americans are saving," Brady said at a separate Yahoo Finance conference later in the day. Brady said Republicans have "asked for ideas how Americans (can) save more and save earlier in their lives."
On Monday, Trump emphatically tweeted that "there will be NO change to your 401(k)." He called the 401(k) tax benefit a "great and popular middle class tax break that works."
Trump: There will be NO change to your 401(k). This has always been a great and popular middle class tax break that works, and it stays!
Brady did not specify the possible changes the GOP is considering.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday afternoon, Trump appeared to back off of his Monday tweet. He called 401(k) plans "very important" and said he did not want a proposal to change them to "go too far." However, the president said he could use 401(k) changes as a negotiating tool, adding that Brady "knows how important" the retirement plans are.
Brady said at the Yahoo event that he is not bothered by Trump's stance. "I'm certainly listening to President Trump," he said, adding that Trump has been "incredibly helpful" in putting together the tax reform bill
"At the end of the day, we're looking at encouraging people to save more and save early," Brady said. "We're looking through a number of ideas. No decisions have been made. At the end of the day, retirement will be strengthened or it will remain as it is."