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Sen. Carper skeptical comprehensive tax reform will pass Congress this year

Delaware Public Media

Congress is expected to start working on tax reform legislation after Labor Day.

But with the president fighting with members of his own party, one Delaware senator doubts Republicans can pass it this year.

Republican lawmakers hope to pass a tax reform bill this year. They want to slash corporate tax rates, overhaul the U.S. tax code and eliminate the estate tax.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware) says he supports tax code reform. But last time Congress did it in 1986, it took a few years to get a bipartisan deal.

“We had some really brilliant people and despite all that talent and everybody pulling the same direction, comprehensive tax reform took three years to get it done," he said. "Three years.”

And Carper says the current climate in Washington makes tax reform an even heavier lift..

“When you look at the situation in Washington today, you don’t have a president who is knowledgeable about the tax code, we don’t have a speaker who is aligned with the president on this issue," he said. "You just have a lack of elements you need to be able to move forward on comprehensive tax reform.”

Sens. Carper and Chris Coons (D-Delaware) signed a letter to Senate Republicans and President Donald Trump opposing tax cuts for the richest Americans.

But Republicans hope to get some Democrats to join them in passing tax legislation.