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 BoehnerRepublican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare The disorderly order of presidential succession 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 ReichertOvernight Finance: Senators struggle with spending bill | Obama lifting Myanmar sanctions | Dems turn up heat on Wells Fargo | Panel votes to exempt Olympic medals from taxes Hatch: TPP deal can get done in lame-duck session Reichert: President Obama must rally Dems around Pacific trade deal MORE (R-Wash) and John Lewis (D-Ga.) at charitable and tax exempt organizations; Reps. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) and Jim McDermottJim McDermottGovernment to step in if insurance companies don't offer affordable health care choices Dems fear they made a mistake passing ObamaCare provision House advances bill with ObamaCare mandate exemption MORE (D-Wash.) at debt, equity and capital; Reps. Diane BlackDiane BlackIvanka sells Trump childcare to Capitol Hill Trump calls congresswoman to stage at child care policy speech Overnight Healthcare: Zika funding stalemate drags on | Tighter rules for ObamaCare sign-ups | New EpiPen probe MORE (R-Tenn.) and Danny Davis (D-Ill.) at education and family benefits; and Reps. Kevin BradyKevin BradyUS wins aerospace subsidies trade case over the EU Republican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Congress must pass Sunset the Tax Code bill before election 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 Finance: House GOP grills IRS chief on impeachment | Bipartisan anger over Iran payment | Fed holds rates steady but hints at coming hike Panel votes to extend nuclear power tax credit DEA decision against reclassifying marijuana ignores public opinion MORE (D-Ore.) will be in the top spots at the international group, and Reps. Jim GerlachJim GerlachBig names free to lobby in 2016 Ex-Rep. Gerlach ditches K St. in return to campaign world Ex-Sen. Pryor heading to K Street MORE (R-Pa.)  and Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) will lead the manufacturing group.

Finally: Tiberi and Rep. Ron KindRon KindHatch: TPP deal can get done in lame-duck session Facing the future on trade: Democrats must reject anti-trade obstructionism EpiPen maker feels heat from Congress MORE (D-Wis.) will head the pensions and retirement group; Reps. Sam JohnsonSam JohnsonRepublican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman IRS publishes guidelines on tax relief for wrongfully incarcerated people Overnight Finance: House votes to rein in IRS; Ryan won't set Puerto Rico timeline 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.