NEW YORK — As the repeal effort fizzled, the president tried to turn the focus to tax cuts, pushing to cut corporate tax rates to help pay for tax relief for the wealthy.
But the GOP-led Senate failed to pass the bill, which would have repealed the tax breaks for corporations that help finance the expansion of the nation’s healthcare system.
So on Tuesday, the administration moved to try to revive the effort with a pair of executive actions aimed at reducing tax rates on businesses and individuals.
The first would create a $500,000 credit for people who file their tax returns with less than $500 in taxable income and have assets worth at least $2 million, including $1 million for a married couple filing jointly.
The second would give companies a 10 percent deduction for capital expenditures, including hiring and equipment purchases, in lieu of the standard deduction.
It is unclear whether Trump, who has a personal net worth of $9.4 billion, will sign the bills, and his administration has not yet said whether it plans to file them as soon as Friday.
Republicans have long been pushing to slash taxes on the rich and corporations in order to help the middle class.
But the tax credits are seen as a centerpiece of their proposal, and Trump has made the case that they are vital to creating jobs.
With Congress still struggling to come up with a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, many lawmakers have urged Trump to push for the tax cuts to be made permanent, saying the tax code was in need of major overhauls.
White House officials say the tax credit for businesses is important because it allows more Americans to afford the cost of healthcare, as well as allows people to save for retirement.
The tax credits would also help the poor and working class, they say.
Some Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., have argued that the tax break for business is unfair to workers.
Ryan, for example, said the credits should only apply to the income of small businesses, with businesses with fewer than 50 employees earning less than the standard corporate deduction.
The president has repeatedly argued that businesses need the tax relief because they create jobs and boost wages.
“This is a big step forward for American businesses,” Trump said at a White House news conference Tuesday.
“We can afford to give a tax credit to the wealthiest Americans and to corporations.
That is exactly what we did when we got rid of the estate tax.”
The president said the tax overhaul would allow businesses to invest more, grow their businesses and increase the size of their companies.
“The big thing we can do for small businesses is get more capital into the U.S.,” Trump said.
Trump is expected to announce the new tax credits Thursday at a signing ceremony for the White House’s new infrastructure initiative.
The effort is aimed at promoting private-sector investment and creating jobs, as he has said the United States needs to create jobs to rebuild the country.
The White House has said it is committed to supporting the $2 trillion infrastructure program.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democrats have urged the president to continue the infrastructure push.
The Senate has been debating a repeal of the ACA, and a final version is expected next week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.