House Tax Overhaul

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) has told GOP panel members he will release a “comprehensive discussion draft” this week of a tax code rewrite. While getting a major change in tax law this year is widely considered to be a long shot, this marks a turning point in the discussion. Meanwhile, in the Senate, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) has taken over the Senate Finance Committee Chairmanship after Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) left the Senate to become the United States Ambassador to China. Therefore, it is unclear how the Senate will respond to Chairman Camp’s tax code rewrite, given Sen. Wyden’s intentions to focus on renewing tax extenders before turning to long term tax reform.

Other Activity

Next Tuesday, March 4, President Obama will be releasing the top-line numbers for his budget request for FY 2015. The budget appendix and further detail, including justifications, are scheduled for release the following week. The budget is poised to include requests focusing on domestic priorities such as job training, early-childhood education and other programs aimed to bolster the middle class. It is was announced last week that the President had dropped a plan to reduce future spending on Social Security in his budget, but he would still remain open to congressional Republicans and Democrats returning to a so-called grand bargain. Additionally, the White House has expressed a sustained commitment to the $1.014 trillion top-line spending level set under the House-Senate budget agreement (PL 113-67).

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, February 25: The Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing titled “Economic Outlook for Individuals, Families and Communities.”
  • Thursday, February 27: The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services will hold a hearing titled “Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasure Enterprise.”