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GOP lawmakers huddle on tax reform

GOP lawmakers huddle on tax reform
© Greg Nash

Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee met in Washington on Wednesday to further their efforts to overhaul the tax code in 2017.

The lawmakers held the meeting, after Congress adjourned for the year, to "take the broad outlines of our [tax-reform] blueprint, begin filling in the specific provisions, identifying a path forward, so for the first time in 30 years, Americans can finally have hope that we will fix this broken tax code," Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden may find zero GOP support for jobs plan GOP seeks new line of attack on Biden economic plans Calls grow from lawmakers for IRS to extend filing deadline MORE (R-Texas) said at a press conference.

Brady said committee members are "rolling up our sleeves" and are working with President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpRomney blasts end of filibuster, expansion of SCOTUS McConnell, GOP slam Biden's executive order on SCOTUS US raises concerns about Iran's seriousness in nuclear talks MORE's transition team.

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"We're going to be ready for [President-elect Donald Trump] and for this new Congress, which is exactly why we're here as the holiday approaches," he said.

In a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt Wednesday, incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus suggested that there would be two tax-reform packages next year: a smaller one and a larger one.

Brady said that the transition team and incoming administration is identifying a number of different approaches on tax reform and that decisions on timing haven't been made yet.

Some business groups have been pushing back on a provision in the blueprint, known as "border adjustments," that would tax imports and exempt exports.

When asked about border adjustments, Brady said, "This election, voters made it very clear they want the American economy strong again, they want Americans to be able to compete around the world without one hand tied behind our back, and they want to end the tax on Made in America products." 

Brady said that the committee is looking at a number of transition rules that would "accelerate the growth aspects" of the tax-reform plan and would "also acknowledge these are major changes."

"We need to work closely with our businesses in America to make sure we found the right path," Brady said. "And that's why we're listening very closely to businesses about all of these issues. We're proposing bold changes. We know that. All of them affect different businesses differently. So we're listening very closely on how make sure we can smooth that out."

Ways and Means Committee members will also meet Thursday and are expected to talk about healthcare.