House Dem to introduce tax-loophole measure

Tierney began talking up the legislation in April, and the measure is being introduced as top Republicans and Democrats are in a stare-down over whether to include fresh revenues in any deficit agreement that would raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by Aug. 2, the deadline set by the Treasury Department. 

The chances for a larger deal took a hit on Saturday, when House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he was taking a step back because President Obama would not pursue such a pact without tax increases. 

Before then, Republicans had appeared to be more open than previously thought to closing certain tax loopholes. Boehner, in a Monday news conference, said that the GOP differences with Democrats were not over tax loopholes, but with raising taxes.

And House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) stressed on Monday that any agreement would have to be revenue-neutral.

For his part, the president said in his own briefing that wealthier taxpayers “can afford to pay a little bit more,” suggesting that the Bush tax cuts should be allowed to rise for high earners and that tax breaks for corporate jet owners ought to be scrapped. 

Tierney’s legislation is on the same page with the administration on ending or rolling back other tax provisions, such as the itemized deduction rate for top earners, the carried interest provision utilized by hedge fund managers and a variety of credits and deductions used by the oil-and-gas industry. 

The bill mandates that the Government Accountability Office examine whether other tax expenditures are effective.