House Republicans are beginning a push this week for the first tax code rewrite in more than quarter of a century, with Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp briefing small groups of lawmakers with discussion draft bills his staff has produced.
Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy will join Camp in holding the briefings, Politico reports
. Meanwhile, Camp has met privately with every freshman Republican representative to discuss rewriting the tax code.
The tax code rewrite will likely be a bipartisan effort between the Senate and House. Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, who announced his retirement Tuesday, said he will spend much of the rest of the year-and-a-half he has left in office working on “simplifying and improving the Tax Code.”
The combination of Baucus and Camp, who is term limited, could bring reform to a tax code that both parties think is too cluttered with entitlements to businesses and individuals to work well.
But no-one is suggesting overhaul will be simple. The rewrite could compete with a new farm bill or a new highway bill in the 113th Congress, but few Republican lawmakers believe all three issues will be completed.
An added complication is that Democrats and Republicans have different priorities. While the GOP wants to cut taxes, Democratic leaders want to use the changes to raise revenue.
Camp's first draft is expected to rework how multinational corporation taxes are collected, avoiding the current system of allowing companies to leave more than $1 trillion deposited offshore to avoid taxes back in the United States.
The Michigan lawmaker has also won attention for his financial transactions draft bill, which requires trades to use market-to-market accounting rule.
Camp, who first came to Congress in 1990 at the same time as Speaker John Boehner, could seek a waiver from his party to serve as committee chairman for another two years. However, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, a powerful force with credits including a 2012 run for vice-president, reportedly is very interested in taking Camp's Ways and Means gavel.
Meanwhile, Baucus said his decision to forgo reelection will give him more “time and energy” to work on the tax code revision.
“I am not turning out to pasture because there is important work left to do,” Baucus told The Hill
. “I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”
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