Officials Discuss Tax Reform

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The majority chief counsels of the two major Congressional taxwriting committees discussed tax reform issues at a two-day Federal Bar Association seminar in Washington last week.  Both addressed the timeline for reform.

 

Mark Prater of the Senate Finance Committee suggested that all parties are targeting a 2017 overhaul but conceded that completing the task in 2018 remains a possibility.  Barbara Angus of the House Ways and Means Committee also indicated that the House, Senate, and White House hope to have the new law enacted in 2017, at the same time warning of the pitfalls of setting a "false deadline" for completion.  Prater said lawmakers and committee staff members alike are eager to finish a job they have been working on for years.

 

Prater said the Senate committee is taking a wider view than the House, which is focused on its "Blueprint" proposals released in 2016.  He said the Senate is trying to incorporate the House blueprint, the Trump administration's plan, as well as past tax reform proposals into its legislation.

 

Meanwhile, in a June 1 interview, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin addressed concerns that the administration was focusing on tax cuts at the expense of true overall reform:  "We are going to make sure that this is tax reform, not just tax cuts, and that [the cuts] are paid for."  However, both he and some Senate Republicans are reluctant to support the House's Border Adjustment Tax proposal, which supporters claim would pay for the cuts.

 

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