As House and Senate Republicans get set to nail down a final tax bill, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy outlined what he wants to see in the plan.
The Senate early Saturday passed its tax bill, which contains key differences from one approved by the House last month. This week, the House and Senate are expected to vote to go to a conference committee, where lawmakers will hash out a final proposal that both chambers will need to pass.
To do so, lawmakers will need to compromise on multiple key differences between the bills. McCarthy told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Monday where he stood on some of those issues.
McCarthy's stances open up new questions about how to pay for the tax plan. Scrapping the corporate alternative minimum tax and cutting individual rates more dramatically would leave even less revenue going to the government than under the Senate proposal.
The Senate bill would increase budget deficits by nearly $1.5 trillion over 10 years, according to the congressional scorekeeper Joint Committee on Taxation. An earlier, slightly different version would boost deficits by more than $1 trillion even after modest economic growth is taken into account, the committee estimated.
One GOP senator — Bob Corker of Tennessee — defected over budget deficit concerns. Multiple other senators expressed fears about deficits before ultimately supporting the plan.
On Monday, McCarthy signaled that Republicans could take care of the deficit issue by making changes to programs like Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. Those social safety net programs account for most federal spending.
"I worry about deficits, but you're not going to get out of this problem until you grow the economy. Then, you've got to look at the entitlements," McCarthy said.