Bipartisan Effort on Tax Overhaul


By Elena Faurie

On January 15, in a press release, U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced the launch of five bipartisan groups to analyze challenges of tax code and develop policy recommendations for comprehensive tax reform in the 114th Congress. 

Separate bipartisan Finance Committee Tax Working Groups will work directly with the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.  Each group will be co-chaired by one Democrat and one Republican member.  The groups will focus on five areas, such as Individual Income Tax, Business Income Tax, Savings & Investment, International Tax, and Community Development & Infrastructure. 

Chairman Hatch noted the importance of free discussion of ideas between the two parties, leading to productive recommendations that may be used to write legislation.  He also expects President Obama to be involved in this process.

Senator Wayden said, “We can all agree that that our broken tax code must be fixed in a way that makes it work for, not against, our country and economy. We need a simple and fair system that helps both typical Americans and business alike.  A lot of hard work has been done in recent years on tax reform creating a strong foundation to build upon. We now have a window of opportunity to make a run at modernizing our tax code and it's time to come together and deliver.”

The five Tax Working Groups will evaluate in-depth potential legislative solutions within assigned areas.  The final goal is to have one comprehensive report that provides recommendations from each of the five categories that has to be completed by the end of May.  The report with recommendations will serve as a foundation for the development of bipartisan tax reform legislation.

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