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The House Ways and Means Committee’s agenda for the remainder of 2012 will be to work on tax reform, an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, and the passage of the expiring tax extenders, according to Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich.

Tax Cuts and Reform on Lawmakers’ To-Do List

  • 5/23/2012

Tax Cuts and Reform on Lawmakers’ To-Do List

The House Ways and Means Committee’s agenda for the remainder of 2012 will be to work on tax reform, an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, and the passage of the expiring tax extenders, according to Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich.

Speaking at a legislative policy seminar on tax and budget issues held by the Washington-based Federal Policy Group, Camp said tax reform will consist of collapsing the six individual tax rates to just two rates of 10 percent and 25 percent, eliminating the alternative minimum tax, and instituting a worldwide system of taxation.

"Moving to a territorial system, along with a lower corporate rate, is critical to ensuring that we are an attractive destination for other countries looking for new places to do business," Camp said.

According to Camp, the House GOP conference supports using the 2013 expiration of the Bush tax cuts to force action on tax reform. He echoed the call of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, for using a fast-track procedure to consider tax cuts and tax reform. House Republicans have been holding internal tax-planning sessions since April, with the goal of passing an extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, as well as enacting tax reform, he said.

In addition, Camp predicted that the 73 tax provisions that expired in 2010, the so-called tax extenders, will also see action in 2012. House Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures Chairman Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, will hold a hearing to conduct an open review of the usefulness of the extenders in early June, Camp announced.

"If extenders are beneficial and are helping the economy, then they should be seriously considered," Camp stated. "On the other hand, if an extender has outlived its value, and if it is not producing the economic benefits it once was, then we need to determine whether there is merit in continuing that provision."

Debt ceiling differences

Camp’s remarks on tax reform came days after Boehner said he would insist on spending cuts as part of the upcoming legislation to increase the nation’s debt ceiling. When asked if the debt ceiling bill could include new revenues, Boehner told reporters that lawmakers and the president are well aware of the issues under discussion and the time frame for action. He said the debt ceiling increase, defense spending cuts, tax reform, and the tax extenders are all related.

"It would be nice to do them in some logical order and with enough time for members and the American people to understand exactly what it is we're doing," Boehner stated. Dealing with the debt ceiling, military spending, and tax cuts during the lame-duck session of Congress seems unrealistic, he suggested.

“To think that we're going to do all of this between Election Day and Christmas is a big stretch in my mind," Boehner said.

Boehner’s remarks did not sit well with the leader of House Democrats. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said House Republican plans for increasing the debt ceiling will put the full faith and credit of the U.S. at risk, just to give tax breaks to wealthy Americans and special interests.

"They did it before," she told reporters. "Here we go again."

Pelosi criticized Boehner’s desire for a debt-limit deal that includes spending cuts and no new revenues to invest in the economic recovery.

"So, to toss this into the mix right now, saying we have to have cuts that exceed … the extent to which we lift the debt ceiling is really immature, irresponsible," Pelosi said. "Let’s get serious."

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