Kevin Brady: Banks should reassess tax reform plan

A senior GOP tax writer says the financial sector should take a second look at a tax on big banks in a new Republican reform plan.

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Banking advocates have sharply criticized the tax overhaul rolled out this week by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), in large part because of a tax on banks with more than $500 billion in assets.

Rep. Kevin Brady, a senior committee member, said banks should take a broader view of the plan, insisting that they’d be helped by the lower tax rate supplied by the draft and its impact on the economy.

“I think if you look at the whole package, I think this has much more benefit, especially as banks are laying off thousands of workers because of this disappointing economy,” the Texas Republican said in a Bloomberg Television interview set to air Friday.

Camp has said the bank tax is part of the financial sector’s trade-off for a plan that cuts the top corporate rate from 35 percent to 25 percent.

In his Bloomberg interview, Brady also stressed — as most GOP tax writers have — that Camp’s plan was just a draft and the start of what could be an extensive conversation on tax reform.

Camp has yet to introduce legislation or set a timeline for a markup, and there is bipartisan agreement that tax reform won’t happen this year.

“Take a look at the whole package, even the economic growth and especially impact on customers, and if you've got a better idea on how to help us lower tax rates, bring it,” Brady said. “We're listening. Bring those ideas, and let's have that discussion."

Brady also pitched his candidacy to replace Camp as Ways and Means Committee chairman next year. Camp is term-limited, and it’s widely assumed that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would be his replacement. Still, Brady has for months been seen as having an eye on the gavel.

“I'm qualified and prepared to lead this committee,” Brady said. “At the right time, I'm going to make that case to my colleagues. This is all about the ideas and how we can move tax reform, trade, entitlement reform forward.”

“It's good to have a healthy competition,” he added. “Hopefully we're going to present two good choices to our colleagues.”