Grover Norquist, famous for persuading members of Congress to pledge that they won’t raise taxes, says Senate Republicans’ revised health bill will hurt economic growth.
Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform and creator of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, explained Friday that Affordable Care Act taxes preserved in the bill are anti-growth.
The revised legislation, released on Thursday, will retain a set of Obamacare taxes which helped finance the law’s expansion of coverage. That includes a 3.8 percent surcharge on high-income earners.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters this week before the revised release that preserving those taxes “seems to be where we’re headed.”
“There are some politicians who wanted to spend more money and they got what they wanted, which damages economic growth,” Norquist said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”
That sentiment echoes comments made by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. He told CNBC on Friday that getting rid of Obamacare will have a positive impact on GDP.
The good news is the bill will get rid of most Obamacare tax increases and the revisions make it much easier to pass, Norquist said. He also predicts the additional taxes will get knocked out in Trump’s tax overhaul.
Tax reform will be “very pro-growth but we are going to have to back up and get rid of the anti-growth taxes that are not yet eliminated in the Obamacare repeal,” Norquist said.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said the Trump administration will get something concrete on tax reform by the end of 2017.
Norquist predicts we’ll see something by September or October.
— CNBC’s Dan Mangan and AP contributed to this report.