Ways and Means unveils tax reform working groups

Rep. Sandy Levin (Mich.), the top panel’s top Democrat, added that the “working groups provide a framework to undertake in-depth fact-finding on a variety of important issues related to tax reform."

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Ways and Means is announcing the working groups as their colleagues across the Rotunda, the Senate Finance panel, are trying to release a set of drafts from the entire committee in the spring.

Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio), the chairman of the Ways and Means panel on Taxes, said the working groups could allow the two parties to build the sort of trust that was he said was lacking during the debate over the Democratic healthcare overhaul.

But the Ohio Republican also appeared skeptical that the working groups would move the ball forward all that much.

“I think it’s a way to find common ground,” Tiberi told The Hill. “At least we’re talking with each other. I don’t think anything bad can come out of it. And maybe something good will.”

The working groups also come after President Obama’s nod toward tax reform in his State of the Union underwhelmed some Republicans. Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerChaffetz calls for ,500 legislator housing stipend GOP super-PAC promises big spending in 2018 Ryan reminds lawmakers to be on time for votes MORE (R-Ohio) has also suggested in recent weeks that a tax reform push might not be worth the effort, given the partisan differences between the two parties.

One congressional aide said the working groups could also buy policymakers more time to see what's politically possible on tax reform.

The leaders of the working groups are: Reps. Dave ReichertDavid ReichertTime to fix our national parks House GOP not sold on Ryan’s tax reform plan Lawmakers push back against Trump offshore drilling review MORE (R-Wash) and John Lewis (D-Ga.) at charitable and tax exempt organizations; Reps. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) and Jim McDermottJim McDermottLobbying World Dem lawmaker: Israel's accusations start of 'war on the American government' Dem to Trump on House floor: ‘Stop tweeting’ MORE (D-Wash.) at debt, equity and capital; Reps. Diane BlackDiane BlackOvernight Finance: GOP divided over welfare cuts in budget | Lawmaker loses M on pharma stock he pitched | Yellen: No more financial crises in our lifetimes House budget plan delayed again over welfare cuts Lawmakers celebrate National Selfie Day on Twitter MORE (R-Tenn.) and Danny Davis (D-Ill.) at education and family benefits; and Reps. Kevin BradyKevin BradyGOP chairman: More tax-reform hearings coming in July Overnight Finance: CBO finds 22M more uninsured under Senate health bill | GOP agrees ObamaCare taxes must go | Supreme Court to look at Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections | More tax reform hearings | Green light for partial travel ban | Highway Trust Fund in need of a long-term fix MORE (R-Texas) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) at the energy working group.

Reps. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) and John Larson (D-Conn.) will helm the financial services working group, and Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) and Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) will lead the income and tax distribution group.

Reps. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerOvernight Energy: Zinke, Perry take heat over Trump budget House passes nuclear energy tax bill Overnight Finance: Ryan wants tax reform to be permanent | White House expects tax bill ready by September | Defense spending battle delays budget MORE (D-Ore.) will be in the top spots at the international group, and Reps. Jim GerlachJim GerlachFormer reps: Increase support to Ukraine to deter Russia With Trump and GOP Congress, job creators can go on offense Big names free to lobby in 2016 MORE (R-Pa.)  and Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) will lead the manufacturing group.

Finally: Tiberi and Rep. Ron KindRon KindCongress should prioritize small farmers and taxpayers over Big Ag Why Trump is fighting Canada on softwood lumber and dairy Lawmakers targeted as district politics shift MORE (D-Wis.) will head the pensions and retirement group; Reps. Sam JohnsonSam JohnsonWeek ahead: Tech awaits Trump budget Older Americans Month — slashing funds for our seniors is the wrong thing to do Ryan transfers record M to House GOP's campaign arm in March MORE (R-Texas) and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), the real estate group; and Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) and Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), the small business and pass-throughs group.


This post was updated at 11:10 a.m. on Thursday Feb. 14.