BEVERLY HILLS—In a discussion at the Milken Institute 2017 Global Conference in Beverly Hills on May 1, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin fielded questions from Fox Business News Host Maria Bartiromo, outlining what he felt were the most important parts of the current administration’s tax proposals, while also reiterating the threat of using the “nuclear option” to force a bill through the senate.
“We’re focused on an economic plan which encompasses significant tax reform, regulatory reform, and fair trade – redoing trade deals which are unfair to the United States.” Mnuchin told the audience of global business leaders. “Our priority has been to simplify personal taxes, create a middle income tax cut, and make our businesses competitive.”
When asked about his expectations for implementation, and whether or not senate Republicans would invoke the procedure of reconciliation to pass a tax reform bill (which would require only 51 senate votes instead of 60), Mnuchin was optimistic.
“Look, I think we’d like to see bi-partisan support, and I hope that there are Democrats who would support this,” Mnuchin said. “This is really our version of a jobs bill. I hope we get bi-partisan support but if we don’t, this is so important to the economy, we’ll do it through the reconciliation process.”
Secretary Mnuchin has promised “the most significant change to the tax code since Reagan,” the Wall Street Journal reported last month.
The Milken Institute, an international non-profit, nonpartisan think tank, began its annual Global Conference this week at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel, where 4,000 attendees from more than 50 countries have gathered to hear lectures from political, social, and business leaders on strategies to tackle the world’s most pressing and complex problems. The conference, now in its 20th year, will focus on “Building Meaningful Lives,” and host several seminars, interviews, and panel discussions on topics ranging from terrorism and the refugee crisis, to artificial intelligence and business tax reform.
Three other Trump administration cabinet members are also slated to speak at the four-day conference. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will join former Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush in a panel discussion on U.S. Education Policy. Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr. and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao will join in a discussion titled, “Bridging the Gap in U.S. Infrastructure.”
Also scheduled to speak at the event is former Vice President Joe Biden, and Wisconsin Governor and former Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker.