Senate Progresses on Tax Reform

Bill Due by the Fall
Letters from Senators Confidential

Senate Progresses on Tax Reform Senate Committee on Finance Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) said on July 22 that the Committee will mark up a comprehensive tax reform bill in the fall.

House Committee on Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) had previously indicated that the Ways and Means Committee will also consider a tax bill in 2013.

Finance Committee Chair Baucus and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter on June 27, asking Senators to submit their tax priorities in the context of a “blank slate” tax code. These letters were due to Senators Baucus and Hatch on July 26.

Monarch Houisng and the NLIHC urged advocates to send their Senators letters, asking them to submit the United for Homes proposal to Senators Baucus and Hatch. NLIHC also urged support for the inclusion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit in any request.

NLIHC understands that while some Senators responded with specific proposals, others are offering more general guidance, and still others are not responding at all, reflecting a skepticism that the “blank slate” exercise is not a serious effort.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said,

“I’m not going to be involved in this. I’m not on the Committee; I’m not going to do it. I’m not even going to consider it. I frankly haven’t read the letter, don’t intend to.”

Senators’ submissions to Senators Baucus and Hatch will be kept confidential by the Committee, but will presumably inform draft legislation that will be considered by the Committee later in 2013.