Tax-writing committee chairs urge president, work together on tax reform

Tax-writing committee chairs urge president, tax reform

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) today sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urging the administration to address “unfavorable provisions” in the tax code by working with Congress on comprehensive tax reform—instead of taking unilateral action.

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The letter from the chairmen of the tax-writing committees provides:


In response to calls for unilateral executive action to “close loopholes” to increase taxes, a spokesperson for the President recently stated in a press conference that “…the President is very interested in this avenue generally.” This would be a mistake, both constitutionally and politically. We have a rare chance in our nation’s recent history to reform the tax code, and we look forward to working with you in that effort. While the Administration and Congress may have differing views on what that reform should look like, it is critical that we overcome those differences through negotiation and the constitutional system of checks and balances that have guided our nation for over two hundred years. This course will involve dialog, disagreement, and difficult choices. But it is the right course.


This letter is the latest in a series of “back-and-forth” as to whether it would be appropriate for the government to address tax breaks that some policymakers have labelled “tax loopholes.”In recent months, Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senate Budget Committee ranking member Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have both identified specific areas of concern and have suggested that the Treasury Department consider using their regulatory authority to address these actions without waiting for congressional action.


Read a March 2015 report [PDF 580 KB] from the Finance Committee Democratic staff, and a March 2015 release from the Senate Budget Committee.

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