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House GOP Drafting Tax Reform Proposal

by Countable | 6.23.17

Democrats and many Republicans questioned the behind-closed-doors formulation of the Senate healthcare bill, and now some are questioning whether the GOP push for tax reform may be heading down the same road.

Some prominent Republicans maintain that the initial formulation of draft legislation is often done behind closed doors. Politico quotes Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL):

"Everybody wants a bill written in a big room with a lot of cameras. That’s not the way any legislation around here happens. You can’t pass a secret bill. I think the question is not how the initial draft is produced. I think the issue is how much time do members have to look at it and understand how it works."

Other Republicans, like House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), argue that starting the process behind closed doors is the only way to move legislation through efficiently. Republicans have a lot of legislative priorities they want to deal with before the end of 2017 — health care, tax reform, the debt limit and government funding.

Democrats are already calling for a more open process, however. Sen. Ron Wyden (OR), the top Democrat on the Finance Committee argued:

"The history of successful tax reform is to get both sides in early and to find ways in which each side is able to secure principles that the other side can live with."

The thorny issues the GOP is dealing with in trying to formulate a plan include:

  • The inclusion of a border adjustment tax;

  • Tax rates and brackets;

  • Which tax breaks to scrap;

  • Whether or not the plan can add to the deficit;

  • Whether or not the plan should be tied to welfare reforms.

The ‘Big Six’ — which includes the House Speaker and Senate majority leader, the chairs of committees that oversee tax policy, the Director of the National Economic Council, and the Secretary of the Treasury — are the core group expected to formulate the final draft. Republican members of the Ways and Means Committee insist they’ve also been having multiple, daily meetings on tax reform. In addition, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-SC), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, met with White House officials this week.

The White House also met this week with centrist-Democrats, the Blue Dogs, to discuss the upcoming legislation.

Politico reports that Brady says a hearing schedule regarding draft legislation will be announced by tax policy subcommittee chairman Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) "at some point."

Should Congress hold hearings and take other steps to open up the process on tax reform legislation to ensure a bipartisan process? Use the Take Action button to tell your reps what you think!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Pixabay / Creative Commons)

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(264)
  • Ticktock
    06/23/2017
    ···

    I guess the Royal governors will again go behind closed doors excluding anyone who isn't in their clic to develop a secret tax plan to rob from the poor and middle class an pay to the rich. This Congress has lost all credibility. Will any plan they come up with be fair and balanced? They lost touch with fair and balanced a long time ago. This government isn't for all the people just the rich. We don't trust this Administration or Congress to change anything.

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  • HockeyGuy
    06/23/2017
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    Don't be fooled, the Republican tax reform will amount to nothing more than the usual raping of the middle class and disenfranchised taxpayers so that the 1%ers can get their usual huge tax cuts!

    Like (117)
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  • Laura
    06/23/2017
    ···

    Just stop already. Rich people don't need your protection. The middle and lower classes do. Please do your jobs.

    Like (83)
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  • Lyn
    06/23/2017
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    The republicans better start making an effort to include Democrats in all legislative work and make an effort to help working class Americans. What they have done with Healthcare is beyond cruel. It had better not pass!

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  • Ruth
    06/23/2017
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    Why go behind closed doors? We know what the end result is going to be... cuts to the wealthy and corporate America at our expense.

    Like (47)
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  • Ed
    06/23/2017
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    Transparency vs Hidden governing. Governing Without Consideration or Inclusion of We the People. Oligarchy- bought representation

    Like (39)
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  • Sally
    06/23/2017
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    I think our representative are behaving like children playing 'Hide and Seek" with a Health Care bill that will affect absolutely everyone in the country. It's time to grow up, open up, and listen to one another!

    Like (30)
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  • Susan
    06/24/2017
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    If you continue to try and do legislation in secret you will be destroyed in 2018 because we want to know! We are your constituents do not hide stuff from us we will find it out one way or the other and you will pay for it

    Like (19)
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  • Cindy
    06/23/2017
    ···

    Well Walden will you actually do the right thing this time? Your health care proposal will result in nothing but heartache. Will your plan for tax reform benefit the rich once again? I really have lost faith in you. Looking forward to your ouster in 2018.

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  • Kim
    06/24/2017
    ···

    I guess they must be pretty confident about passing their "health care" bill and that the citizens won't storm the castle with pitch forks and torches. Forget about the ACA, just look at what the 33 countries with superior health care do for their citizens. The United States is falling behind on just about every measure of what makes a country great. We are now classified as a second tier country because of our health, wellness, education, integration of other cultures, and human rights. The GOP is swiftly moving us into pitiable territory. I stated college the year of this country's bicentennial and could not have been more proud to be an American. Not true today. We are the face of greed and corruption. We are the land of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Paul Ryan. We voted for this.

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  • suzanneh2017
    06/24/2017
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    NO,!HELL NO, AND NO!! If repugnicans are willing to take all the tax repercussions we do.... trump is a moron and probably less than fully sane. Repugnicans know what they are doing. EVIL

    Like (18)
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  • Caren
    06/24/2017
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    No more back room deals. Hold hearings and have debates. Stop the partisan politics. I want fair reform, not just tax cuts for the rich.

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  • Mort
    06/23/2017
    ···

    I am a senior with leukemia on a fixed income. I don't expect to have the resources to pay for medical insurance coverage based on the proposed health care plan. Why does the GOP continually propose tax breaks for the wealthy at the expense of the middle and lower class citizens in this country? I want the same health care plan as my state reps. Virtually everyone has auto insurance. Health insurance should be mandatory for everyone over the age of 21. We have one of the most expensive health care systems in the world. The president just gave the pharmaceutical industry carte blanche on drug prices so it's no wonder costs will continue to be astronomical .

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  • Richard
    06/24/2017
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    So this is one more reason why the healthcare bill must be defeated. Anytime things are done in the way the healthcare bill was done , in secret . It should raise red flags for Republican and democrat alike , That just means our leaders are up to no good. That doesn't mean the press should be there but it should be open to all elected officials of both parties. If it isn't , then we have to ask ourselves why, and not buy into their standard lie that they can not get anything done that way, that is a bullshit excuse to hide what they are doing. I don't know if I could vote for someone who insists on secrecy on these matters ,whatever party they are from. It is the people's business and if you don't believe it then you should not be a representative, period. Too many of our elected representatives think differently. It cannot help but make you think there is some underhanded things going on in government. So ,yes openness is a good idea and for good reason, we need more of it from congress and the leaders there.

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  • Mark
    06/23/2017
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    OH HELL NO! NOT ANOTHER TAX BREAK FOR THE 1%. NO LEGISLATION SHOULD BE VOTED ON UNTIL #TWITLER IS IMPEACHED AND PUT IN PRISON

    Like (9)
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  • Cindylen
    06/23/2017
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    There should not be tax breaks for the very rich. They already receive advantages beyond what they pay for out of pocket. Consider the safety of the neighborhoods that they live in. Consider the quality of schools that are in their neighborhoods. Consider the quality of arts and museums and food that they have available to them. It's okay for them to be rich, some of them have worked hard and deserve it. But we must work hard to level the playing field and use that money to improve healthcare and education especially for those who can't easily afford it.

    Like (8)
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  • Andrew
    06/24/2017
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    WORK TO ENSURE OPEN BIPARTISAN PROCESS!

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  • Troy
    06/24/2017
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    Trickle down economics has failed. Middle class Employees are self funding retirement, contributing more to healthcare and trying to pay off high education costs plus paying a high percentage of taxes per earnings since most deductions aren't applicable to middle class. If your goal is to increase the wage gap and continue to break what made America great, then lower the tax requirements of the rich. Otherwise, fix the loopholes that permit the highest earners and companies from actually paying a fair share of taxes.

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  • Janice
    06/24/2017
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    Why all the secrecy? Is it going to be another plan like the healthcare? So the rich will get richer on the backs of the middle class and the poor. What has happened to the Republican Party?

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  • Donald
    06/24/2017
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    Conservatives corruption is running amuck in the US...

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