- The Washington Times
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady on Tuesday said he’d “love” to attract Democratic support for tax reform.

“I’d love to have Democrat support for tax reform,” Mr. Brady, Texas Republican, told reporters. “I think they bring some very good ideas to the table.”

“We’ve asked them to sort of set the best time for us to engage in follow-up meetings, or roundtables, whether it’s with centrist Dems or Ways and Means Democrats,” he said.

“So we’ll wait to hear back from them on how best do we continue the conversation,” Mr. Brady said. “I’m eager to have the conversation.”

Republicans on the Ways and Means committee recently wrapped up a two-day retreat on the issue.

“I’d love to see bipartisan support on this,” Mr. Brady said. “And using reconciliation doesn’t preclude Democrat and bipartisan support for this.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that he doesn’t expect to have any Democratic involvement on the issue and that Republicans will likely have to use reconciliation, a fast-track process that would allow them to pass legislation with a simple majority in the Senate.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley said earlier Tuesday that there hasn’t been much contact between the two parties on the issue thus far.

Mr. Crowley, a member of the Ways and Means Committee, said Democrats did meet about two weeks ago with Mr. Brady and Rep. Peter Roskam, Illinois Republican and a committee member, to talk about the issue.

“I won’t pretend or try to speak on behalf of the chairman of the committee, but as it was laid out … the goal was 20 percent for the corporate rate, that they would use reconciliation,” Mr. Crowley, New York Democrat, said on C-SPAN’S “Washington Journal.” “Which would mean … they’re not looking for any support of Democrats in the Senate.”

He said issues discussed also included using dynamic scoring, where anticipated consumer and market reactions are factored into budget scores, and the border adjustment tax on imports.

“So it was … not really in line with what Democrats have been talking about,” he said.

Mr. Crowley said he could envision getting to a 28 percent corporate tax rate, which would still be down from the current 35 percent.

“Getting there is the difficulty,” he said. “Getting to 25 percent is difficult. Getting to 20 percent, we think, is nearly impossible. And getting to 15 percent is impossible…unless you don’t pay for it, and I think that’s what the plan of the president is.”

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