By Bernie Becker - 07/07/11 02:27 AM EDT
A bipartisan pair of senators pushing for a broad tax overhaul is calling on top policymakers to include a timeline for reform in any deficit reduction deal.
Sens. Ron WydenRon WydenRepublican chairman: Our tax reform plan fits with Trump's vision Post Orlando, hawks make a power play Democrats seize spotlight with sit-in on guns MORE (D-Ore.) and Dan CoatsDan CoatsBipartisan gun measure survives test vote Senate panel advances nominee who Democrats blasted on Social Security Lobbying World MORE (R-Ind.) acknowledge that it would be practically impossible to revamp the tax code by the Aug. 2 debt-ceiling deadline.
But the two senators also told President Obama, House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerCameras go dark during House Democrats' sit-in Rubio flies with Obama on Air Force One to Orlando Juan Williams: The capitulation of Paul Ryan MORE (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidHispanic Caucus PAC looks to flex its muscles in 2016 Say NO to PROMESA, say NO to Washington overreach Overnight Finance: Wall Street awaits Brexit result | Clinton touts biz support | New threat to Puerto Rico bill? | Dodd, Frank hit back MORE (D-Nev.) that reform could be completed by the end of the year, not to mention help light a fire under the economy.
That message was dropped during another day when taxes took center stage in the deficit reduction debate, with House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorJuan Williams: The capitulation of Paul Ryan The Trail 2016: The Big One Conservative sworn in to replace Boehner MORE telling reporters that Republicans would consider getting rid of certain tax breaks – as long as it was accomplished in a revenue-neutral way.
On the other side of the Capitol, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMcConnell: Trump needs to 'catch up fast' on fundraising McConnell dodges on whether Trump is qualified to be president Sunday shows preview: Next steps after Trump upheaval MORE pooh-poohed Cantor’s suggestion, saying it would be difficult to “cherry-pick items” during the current negotiations.
Wyden and Coats introduced a comprehensive tax reform bill earlier this year that would slash the corporate tax rate to 24 percent (from its current 35 percent), while also thinning the number of individual tax brackets down to three.
Wyden, a longtime fan of the 1986 tax reform, introduced similar legislation in the last Congress with then-Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.). In their Wednesday letter, he and Coats also say that a tax overhaul can be part of a solution that hits at the heart of America’s fiscal problems, instead of messing around at the margins.
“Resolving the nation’s debt crisis demands comprehensive, structural change, including tax reform,” they wrote.