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July 26. 2013

Tax Reform Roundup: Momentum Building Behind Tax Reform

Tax Reform Roundup: Momentum Building Behind Tax Reform

Below are excerpts from this week’s news demonstrating growing momentum to reform America’s tax system so it’s simpler and fairer:

  • USA Today Editorial: Simplify tax code with blank slate: “For the first time since 1986, key members of Congress are making a coordinated push to overhaul the nation’s disgracefully complex tax code. […] the instigators of this newest plan — Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah — are doing everything possible to get it off the ground. They have launched their initiative on a bipartisan note in the Senate Finance Committee, and Baucus has developed a strong working relationship with House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., who is pushing forward along similar lines…That sort of bipartisan arithmetic ought to give tax reform a fighting chance…” [Source: USA Today, 7-22-13]
  • Picture of Chairmen Baucus and Camp meeting with congressional colleagues to discuss tax reform: [Source: @SimplerTaxes, 7-23-13]

Camp, Baucus

  • The Hill: Finance chairman tells senators to ‘be ready’ for tax reform this fall: “The Senate Finance Committee will mark up comprehensive tax reform legislation this fall, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) announced Tuesday…Baucus, the panel’s chairman, declined to give a month or date for action on legislation but made clear that he intends to get down to business on a sweeping rewrite of the tax code after the August recess…“We will mark up a tax bill this fall,” Baucus said on the Senate floor. “So I urge senators to be ready…” [Source: The Hill, 7-23-13]
  • Morning Tax, POLITICO: Boehner Gives the Tax Reform Pitch: “House Speaker John Boehner joined the tax reform hype team during a Sunday appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “We need tax reform, where we bring down the rates, we get rid of the garbage in the tax code, make it fairer for more Americans, and it’ll help us with real economic growth,” he said. But Boehner isn’t for tax reform all on its own. He said the process needs to be paired with entitlement reform and spending cuts. The message is far from a specific push for members of the House Ways and Means Committee to get a bill to the House floor. Boehner has been willing to offer idea for the general idea of rewriting the tax code but continues to keep his hands out of the specifics.” [Source: Politico, 7-22-13; VIDEO]
  • Credit Union Times: Lew Huddles with Congressional Leaders on Tax Reform: “A secret meeting about tax reform between House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew that took place Tuesday afternoon in the Capitol was exposed after word spread about the gathering and reporters showed up…Baucus told Washington publication Politico the three made progress and tax reform is moving forward. He added that he plans to mark up a tax reform bill this fall…” [Source: Credit Union Times, 7-24-13]
  • POLITICO: Ways and Means Democrats to Camp: Include us: “Tax reform is starting to take off and House Democrats are making sure they won’t be left behind. The 16 Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee sent a letter to Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) on Wednesday to request a full committee meeting on the next steps for tax reform…’Once Congress reconvenes in September there will be only 40 legislative days remaining in the year,’ the group wrote. “We are hopeful that the bipartisan groundwork that has been laid this year can result in bipartisan tax reform legislation from this committee…’” [Source: Politico, 7-24-13]
  • NEWSMAX: Dean Agrees With GOP on Lowering Corporate Tax Rates: “Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean agreed with Republicans Thursday that the U.S. corporate tax rate has to be lowered as he called for a fix to the nation’s “screwed up” up tax policy overall. In comments on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program the Democrat said was sure to draw fire from “progressives” in his own party, Dean said he would “lower the corporate tax rate, as some Republicans are suggesting, but make it revenue neutral…”We have to deal with the tax laws, whether we like it or not,” he declared…” [Source: Newsmax, 7-25-13]
  • Morning Tax, POLITICO: New Democrats Have New Approach to Tax Reform: “The New Democrats Coalition is planning to take an “active” role in tax reform, Morning Tax has learned. Led by Ways and Means member Ron Kind of Wisconsin, the New Dems are planning to meet with Ways and Means Chairman next week to discuss a bipartisan approach to overhauling the tax code — a process the Democrats hope to repeat as lawmakers trudge forward with reform this fall. ‘For a number of New Democrats, the negotiations represent a glimmer of hope that we may be able to come together to pass a measure that reduces the layer upon layer of special tax benefits that have been added to the code since 1986 and lowers burdensome compliance costs…’” [Source: Politico, 7/26/13]
  • BILLINGS GAZETTE: Credit Baucus for taking on tough tax-reform task: “Sen. Max Baucus has taken on the gargantuan task of reforming our nation’s tax code…Baucus’ decision to start from a “clean slate” differentiates this effort from past attempts at major tax reform. The ultimate objective is to reduce tax rates for everyone and make the system far simpler to navigate. That would have positive economic impacts across the board and energize America’s recovery. This clean slate approach makes perfect sense. This is a very big task Baucus has taken on, and he needs to know that Montana is backing him…” [Source: Billings Gazette, 7-23-13]