Ryan: No 'controversy' on tax reform

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday that Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) had personally asked for his tax reform draft to be kept out of Ryan’s new budget.

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Camp, the House Ways and Means chairman, was a driving force two years ago in establishing the GOP budget’s tax reform parameters, which cut the top individual and corporate rates to 25 percent.

But the budget Ryan released Tuesday also declined to endorse the broad tax reform draft Camp unveiled just over a month ago, and mentioned it in nearly the same breath as tax overhauls from the Republican rank-and-file.

Ryan insisted that Camp’s draft was meant to jumpstart the conversation on tax reform – a point the Ways and Means chairman has also made – and that the GOP conference had yet to unite around a single tax reform plan.

He also chided reporters for seeking to stir up trouble, and pushed back on any suggestions that the budget snubbed Camp’s plan.

“I think you’re trying to make a story where none exists,” Ryan said, before adding: “There’s just no controversy here.”

Camp’s draft falls short of the parameters set in the GOP budget, reducing the top tax rate to only 35 percent for a small number of individuals. The current top individual rate is 39.6 percent, while the corporate rate tops out at 35 percent.

Many House Republicans have also not embraced Camp’s plan, which illustrates the trade-offs needed to broadly overhaul the tax code and has also sparked criticism from a range of advocacy groups.

Previous House budgets included the same tax reform parameters as Ryan’s newest blueprint, but also said the GOP conference would accommodate Camp’s work.

This time, the budget also mentions Rep. Michael Burgess’s (R-Texas) plan for a flat tax, and Rep. Rob Woodall’s (R-Ga) idea for the so-called “Fair Tax,” a national sales tax.