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Orrin Hatch: Tax Reform Poses More Problems Than DHS Funding

By    |   Monday, 02 Mar 2015 10:02 AM

Congress barely managed to pass a temporary extension to fund the Department of Homeland Security, but the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee believes moving a long-term bill to fund the department will be easier than achieving any kind of tax reform.

"I think it will get [Homeland Security] funded. But tax reform is very difficult. It took three years to do the ’86 bill. It’s much more difficult today than it was then," Sen. Orrin Hatch told CNBC's John Harwood.

"There’s much more bitterness and partisanship. We’ve got to overcome those things. I’m going to do everything I can to overcome them," Hatch said.

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In fact, Hatch said he considers the administration's corporate tax proposal to fund infrastructure projects through revenue generated by mandatory repatriation of overseas profits as a non-starter.

"It’s pretty well dead. That’s a one-time shot. That’s not the way to try and solve our problems.

"He wants to tax the monies again that have already been taxed in the foreign countries in order to bring them back. The corporate world’s not stupid. They’re not going to do that. And neither are we," said the Utah Republican.

The chances of reforming the business tax code are also problematic.

Last month, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said he believes there "is plenty of opportunity for bipartisan cooperation" on business tax reform.

However, Rep. Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, did not share Lew's positive view.

"It just doesn't cut it," Ryan said of the administration's proposal, according to Reuters.

The former Republican vice presidential candidate told reporters that progress must be made toward "meaningful reform" by the end of the summer if any hope is to remain for reforming the tax code this session.

"If it goes past summer, it's hard to see. I just think, knowing the way the budget process works on tax reform, if we haven't done it in 2015, which is effectively through summer, then it probably won't happen," he said, according to The Washington Post.

While there remains bipartisan agreement on some reform proposals, such as making permanent tax incentives for small businesses and charitable contributions, passing those proposals through Congress often gets sidetracked by other issues.

For example, Ryan's committee held a vote last month to make permanent seven tax breaks, but the actual vote on fell along partisan lines because of Democrats' concern that the proposal would increase the deficit and sideline broader tax reform, reported The Hill.

The substantive differences between the two parties on tax reform remain, which makes any progress difficult, said Fox News' Bret Baier.

"They have a huge chasm to go across if they are going to get something done. Simply said, I think you are going to see at least a few years away from a major tax reform bill," the host of Fox News' "Special Report with Bret Baier" told an audience at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Cattle Industry Convention over the weekend.

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Congress barely managed to pass a temporary extension to fund the Department of Homeland Security, but Orrin Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, believes moving a long-term funding bill will be easier than achieving tax reform.
Orrin Hatch, congress, tax reform, homeland security
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2015-02-02
Monday, 02 Mar 2015 10:02 AM
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