Camp to brief GOP leadership on tax reform status

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said Tuesday that he will brief GOP leadership on the status of his tax reform proposal later this week.

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Camp is scheduled to meet with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), among others on Thursday amid chatter on K Street that leadership might want him to stand down for now. The Ways and Means Committee chairman has said for months now that he would push a bill through his committee this year.

“I’ve spent the last few years with my committee members pretty much working on a pro-growth tax reform plan,” Camp said. “And so, this is an opportunity to really discuss what we’ve been working on with the leadership. And I think that’s a fair thing to do.”

Camp insisted Tuesday that his timeline for passing a bill hadn’t changed. “I hope to. I haven’t changed that,” he said.

But the Ways and Means Committee chairman also declined to say whether a bill would be released before the House breaks for Thanksgiving. The House is currently only scheduled to work for two weeks in December, limiting the amount of time Camp has to mark up a bill.

Some lobbyists have said they expect leadership to prod Camp to hold off on releasing legislation to avoid giving Democrats any target to take the pressure off the flawed rollout of President Obama’s healthcare law.

But Camp brushed aside that talk and the general skepticism around Washington that tax reform could get across the finish line this Congress.

“Look there’s lots of rumors that fly around. As I said, I think it’s very fair to have a meeting on a bill of this importance,” Camp said. “This is a meeting to really discuss the merits of the bill, and I look forward to doing it.”

Camp’s meeting with GOP leadership comes as Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is working to release a draft proposal on international tax laws.

Baucus has said he hopes to release the draft as soon as this week, and aides have said that the two parties are working on the draft. But the ranking Republican on the Finance panel, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), told reporters Tuesday that they were “nowhere near conclusion on that.”

Camp is seeking to bring the top individual and corporate rates down to 25 percent and has released a trio of discussion drafts on the issue. But Ways and Means Committee members and lobbyists have said that the projections the panel is getting from the Joint Committee on Taxation aren’t making their job any easier.