Conservative Freedom Caucus Seeks Deal for Speedy Tax OverhaulBy
The chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus is telling Republican leaders most of his group will support the GOP’s budget -- as long as the Ways and Means Committee marks up and passes a tax bill by the week of Oct. 30.
The three-dozen member caucus want a House-wide floor vote on a tax bill by Thanksgiving, said its chairman, Mark Meadows of North Carolina, in an interview. In exchange, there is a "general consensus" within the group to support the Senate-adopted budget in a vote planned for next week, said Meadows.
"We are willing to take a look at supporting the Senate budget next week without going to conference, as long as it speeds up the work on the tax bill," he said.
Meadows said he and many other members of the caucus discussed entering into such a deal with party leaders in a telephone conference call on Friday afternoon -- and he has since relayed the offer to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California. Meadows said he got no immediate commitment.
Meadows said he couldn’t tell how many Freedom Caucus members participated in the call.
Dave Brat, a Virginia Republican who is a member of the Freedom Caucus, said there’s widespread support for signing off on the Senate budget measure in exchange for a verbal commitment from GOP leaders on a timeline for tax legislation.
Brat said it’s disappointing to not have entitlement cuts but "that is the nature of compromise."
Spokeswomen for House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady and McCarthy didn’t have immediate comments.
— With assistance by Erik Wasson