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 Andrew BoehnerBlue wave poses governing risks for Dems Nancy Pelosi: Will she remain the ‘Face of the Franchise’? Jordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker 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 (Dave) George ReichertElection Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' Democrat Kim Schrier advances in Washington primary Overnight Energy: Koch backs bill opposing carbon taxes | Lawmakers look to Interior budget to block offshore drilling | EPA defends FOIA process MORE (R-Wash) and John Lewis (D-Ga.) at charitable and tax exempt organizations; Reps. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) and Jim McDermottJames (Jim) Adelbert 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 Lynn BlackTrump’s endorsements cement power but come with risks The Hill's Morning Report — Trump optimistic about GOP’s midterm prospects as Republicans fret Women poised to take charge in Dem majority MORE (R-Tenn.) and Danny Davis (D-Ill.) at education and family benefits; and Reps. Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyHouse GOP bill a mixed bag for retirement savers China imposes new tariffs on billion of US goods: report Trump announces tariffs on 0B in Chinese goods 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 Defense: Mattis dismisses talk he may be leaving | Polish president floats 'Fort Trump' | Dem bill would ban low-yield nukes Dems introduce bill to ban low-yield nukes Congress just failed our nation’s veterans when it comes to medical marijuana MORE (D-Ore.) will be in the top spots at the international group, and Reps. Jim GerlachJames (Jim) Gerlach2018 midterms: The blue wave or a red dawn? Pa. GOP 'disappointed' by rep retiring after filing deadline Pennsylvania Republican Costello won't seek reelection MORE (R-Pa.)  and Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) will lead the manufacturing group.

Finally: Tiberi and Rep. Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindAllow HSA dollars to be used for over-the-counter drugs Repeal of medical device tax would support medical technology innovation On The Money: Commerce to review uranium imports | Lawmakers urge Trump not to impose auto tariffs | White House wants steeper cuts to EPA funding | Google hit with massive B fine MORE (D-Wis.) will head the pensions and retirement group; Reps. Sam JohnsonSamuel (Sam) Robert JohnsonMay brings key primaries across nation Loss of Ryan hits hard for House Republicans Watchdog: Social Security acting head hasn't been authorized to serve for months 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.