Tax writers to make Silicon Valley stops on reform road show

The chairmen of the House and Senate tax-writing committees will travel to Silicon Valley later this month as part of their campaign to rally public support for overhauling the federal tax code.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) will visit the headquarters of Intel and Square, a mobile payment processor, on Aug. 19 and 20. 

Demetrios Marantis, who served as an aide to Baucus and is the former acting U.S. Trade Representative, is now the head of international policy and regulatory affairs for Square. 

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Baucus and Camp have previously stumped for tax reform in visits to businesses in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

“America’s tax code is inefficient, outdated, and overly complex. It is stifling innovation and holding back America’s economic growth,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement.

They claimed that Congress is ready to take on the challenge of a comprehensive re-write of the tax code. 

“Tax reform can fuel new research and development," they said. "It can boost the economy, create jobs, and make U.S. businesses more competitive at home and in the global marketplace. Most of all, it can provide a real shot in the arm that America needs in a struggling economy.”

Many technology giants have urged Congress to lower the corporate tax rate and enact a temporary holiday to encourage companies to bring their foreign earnings back to the United States. They also favor a "territorial system," which would shield their offshore income from U.S. taxation.

Camp has vowed to pass a tax reform bill out of his committee before the end of the year, but the odds for any comprehensive measure becoming law remain long.

Eliminating any tax credits or deductions would likely ignite fierce lobbying battles, and Democrats and Republicans remain divided over whether the legislation should raise revenue.