Boehner: Tax Reform Plan Is Just Beginning of Conversation

Image: Boehner: Tax Reform Plan Is Just Beginning of Conversation

Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 12:24 PM

By Melanie Batley

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House Speaker John Boehner said he's happy to have Congress discuss a proposal for comprehensive tax reform, but signaled that the GOP is a long way from pushing legislation through Congress.

"Blah, blah, blah, blah," Boehner said in response to a question about the specifics of a proposal expected to be released Wednesday by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, The Washington Post reports.

"There's a conversation that needs to begin," Boehner said. "This is the beginning of the conversation. The idea of tax reform is to get our economy going again, provide better, more economic growth, more jobs, and higher wages. The way you do that is you bring down rates."

He added, "To bring down rates, you clean out a lot of the garbage that's in there and the special interest issues that are in it. I think we ought to have a real conversation, and this is the beginning of that conversation."

Camp's plan would cut the top corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, while collapsing the seven individual tax brackets to just two, at rates of 10 percent and 25 percent.

The plan would mean that 99 percent of individual tax filers would not have tax rates higher than 25 percent, while the remaining 1 percent with incomes higher than $450,000 could face a 10 percent tax surcharge on parts of their income.

Going into 2013, the GOP made a commitment to push forward an overhaul of the tax code, but it appears the leadership has since relegated it on the agenda, preferring to avoid an inevitable fight with Democrats over spending during an election year.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday also poured cold water over the idea that a deal on tax reform would happen this year.

"The majority leader and the president have said they want $1 trillion in new revenue for the federal government as a condition for doing comprehensive tax reform, which we know we ought to do," McConnell said, according to The New York Times.  "So I have no hope for that happening this year."

Camp initially floated the proposals at the House Republican retreat in January. 

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