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Ways and Means organizes bipartisan tax reform ‘working groups’

February 21, 2013

On Feb. 13, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and ranking member Sander Levin (D-Mich.) announced the formation of 11 bipartisan Tax Reform Working Groups.

In a press release, Camp and Levin explained that the groups will be led by one Republican committee member serving as chair and one Democratic member serving as vice chair.

The 11 working groups and their respective chair and vice chair are as follows:

  1. Charitable/Exempt Organizations (Rep. David Reichert, R-Wash.; Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.)
  2. Debt, Equity, and Capital (Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Texas; Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash.)
  3. Education and Family Benefits (Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn.; Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill.)
  4. Energy (Rep. Kevin Brady R-Texas; Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif.)
  5. Financial Services (Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb.; Rep. John Larson, D-Conn.)
  6. Income and Tax Distribution (Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan.; Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y.)
  7. International (Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.; Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.)
  8. Manufacturing (Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa.; Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif.)
  9. Pensions/Retirement (Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio; Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis.)
  10. Real Estate (Rep. Sam Johnson R-Texas; Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., D-N.J.)
  11. Small Business/Passthroughs (Rep. Vern Buchanan R-Fla.; Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa.)

Each of the working groups will: review current law in its designated issue area; identify and research specific issues related to that topic; and solicit and compile feedback from stakeholders, academics and think tanks, practitioners, the general public, and House colleagues. Once the groups have completed their work, the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) staff will prepare a report for the full committee that describes current law in each topic area and summarizes the other information gathered by the working groups. The JCT staff report is due by April 15.

Camp explained in the release that the working groups will supplement the Ways and Means Committee’s continuing series of information-gathering hearings on tax reform issues and provide “one more way for the committee to gather the necessary information to produce the best possible legislation.”

Ranking Member Levin added, “Tax reform must build on a full understanding of present provisions as a path to a simpler, fairer and adequate tax code. These working groups provide a framework to undertake in-depth fact-finding on a variety of important issues related to tax reform.”

The committee as a whole agrees that comprehensive tax reform should result in a simpler and fairer tax code for families and more jobs for American workers. Camp has stated in the past that the Ways and Means Committee will move a comprehensive tax reform bill in 2013.

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