Tags: tax | reform | debt | ceiling

Linking Tax Reform Debt Ceiling Could Split Democrats

Wednesday, 01 May 2013 01:46 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp's plans to tie tax code reform to the nation's debt ceiling negotiations may split Democrats, with key lawmakers divided on whether the issues should be linked.

The Michigan Republican made the suggestion at a meeting last week, reports The Hill.

Tying the two together means that rather than passing a full tax reform bill, the plan would set up a timeline to complete the tax code's first major overhaul since 1986, a GOP aide told the newspaper.

The House Democratic point men on taxes and budget items appear to be split on the idea of combining the two issues. Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, insists the issues should not connect. House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Sandy Levin of Michigan agrees with him.

"The president has been very clear," said Van Hollen. "There is no negotiating over whether or not the United States pays its bills."

But Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana may end up supporting Campbell's plans, a committee aide told The Hill.

Baucus has decided not run for re-election next year, so has limited time to reach his top goal of tax reform. Further, the aide told the newspaper, Baucus wants to reform the tax code to "boost the economy and create more jobs" and is "open to discussing all ideas."

Baucus and Camp also enjoy a close working relationship, another indication that Baucus could end up supporting his plan, The Hill reported.

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