Camp: Ways and Means will do tax reform in 2013

The comments come the day before President Obama hosts congressional leaders at the White House to discuss the mix of spending cuts and tax increases known as the “fiscal cliff.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Obama and top Democrats are so far holding firm on their commitment to allowing Bush-era tax rates to rise on family income above $250,000 a year.

Republicans are resisting that approach, and have said they would be open to raising revenue by rolling back tax credits and deductions. 

But Camp and other Republicans have also said that Obama is slow-walking current talks, perhaps in a bid to jam through just an extension of the Bush-era rates for the middle class.

On Thursday, Camp urged Obama to exert the same sort of leadership that President Reagan showed during the last successful reform of the tax code, in 1986.

“So, the president has a choice to make before the end of the year,” Camp said. “Does he simply want to stand for higher tax rates on top of a broken code, or will he support comprehensive tax reform that strengthens our economy?” 

Top Democratic tax-writers in the Senate, like Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusBaucus backing Biden's 2020 bid Bottom line Overnight Defense: McCain honored in Capitol ceremony | Mattis extends border deployment | Trump to embark on four-country trip after midterms MORE (Mont.), the chairman of the Finance Committee, have also expressed an interest in reforming the tax code. 

But Democrats have also said that, in the current talks, simply getting rid of tax breaks would probably not raise enough revenue to gain their support. Others in the party have also sounded skeptical that there are enough tax preferences in the code to pay for House Republicans’ preferred framework for tax reform, which would lower the top rate from 35 percent to 25 percent.