100 People to Watch This Fall : Page 98 of 102

Cathy Koch Chief adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on tax and economic policy

Reid and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) may have their differences right now on taxes, but they have at least one thing in common: Cathy Koch. 

Koch, formerly the tax chief under Baucus at the Finance Committee, joined Reid’s staff this year. While at the committee, she helped craft the tax provisions in both the stimulus package and President Obama’s healthcare law. Koch has also been a staff economist at the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), and staff director of the Finance subcommittee on Energy.

After that, Koch lobbied for General Electric before returning to Capitol Hill in Reid’s office. 

“Cathy will be my go-to person for all issues related to tax and economic policy, and tax reform,” Reid said in announcing Koch’s arrival. 

Reid’s tapping of Koch raised some hopes about tax reform’s chances in the Senate, given that the majority leader has yet to make an overhaul of the code a top priority. 

But the split between Baucus and Reid and other Democratic leaders has only appeared to widen in recent weeks, with the majority leader suggesting he was concerned that the Finance Committee chairman wouldn’t fight hard enough for revenue increases.