SENATE FINANCE PREPARES FOR BAUCUS DEPARTURE
Following last week’s confirmation hearing, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to vote February 4 on Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus’ (D-MT) nomination to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to China. A Senate floor vote will likely occur before the Senate recesses the week of February 17 for the Presidents’ Day holiday. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is expected to assume the committee chairmanship following Baucus’ departure, with speculation that the empty committee seat will be filled by Mark Warner (D-VA), although other names, like Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), are floating as well.
While Baucus’ presumed successor Wyden has yet to announce an official agenda, he seems interested in pursuing tax extenders quickly, though it is unclear whether he would insist on a committee markup – the preference of Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
TAX REFORM TALK AT HOUSE GOP RETREAT
At last week’s House Republican retreat, tax reform was a frequent topic of discussion, according to Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI). Despite long odds for an immediate path forward for reform, Camp continues to press for action.
THIS WEEK’S HEARINGS:
Wednesday, February 5: The House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee will hold a hearing with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen, focusing on IRS regulations concerning 501(c)(4) groups, the status of applications for tax-exempt status, IRS responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the payment of certain tax credits.