Don’t wait to weigh in on tax reform. That’s the message coming from the tax writers on Capitol Hill.
After the flurry of activity this year on comprehensive tax reform—including the House Ways and Means Committee’s working group process, the Senate Finance Committee’s Member meetings on tax reform, and the release of three Ways and Means Committee tax reform discussion drafts and ten Finance Committee tax reform option papers—the obvious question is, “What’s next?” There doesn’t seem to be a clear path forward and the clock is ticking, leaving Members and the public to question the prospects for comprehensive tax reform in this Congress.
However, this moment in time may be the calm before the storm. Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) are as committed as ever to moving ahead on tax reform and are ramping up their efforts in the coming weeks. It is still quite possible that the tax writing committees will take substantive action this year, including mark ups. After being asked what will happen after the Member meetings were completed, Mr. Baucus was quoted as saying, “The rubber meets the road; start trying to make some decisions.” The Finance Committee is widely expected to release discussion drafts with specific reform proposals, perhaps soon and with little advance notice.
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