June 27, 2017

Congress’ Next Secret: Tax Reform

Tax reform, which aims to remake the federal tax system, will likely be drafted in the same way as the AHCA: behind closed doors.

by Caitlin Martin

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Photo Credit: Katie Lange

Tax Reform Bill to be Shaped Behind Closed Doors

One of the most controversial things about the Senate healthcare bill is that it was drafted behind closed doors by 13 white Republican members of the Senate. Until the bill’s release on June 22, even many Republican Senators had not seen the bill. It is likely that tax reform, which aims to remake the federal tax system, will be drafted in the same way.

The policymakers who will make the big decisions on tax reform are Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

Healthcare and the investigations into the hacking of our election by Russian operatives has taken up most of the recent news cycles so vocal protest has so far been limited, although it is expected to heat up as the process continues.

Supporters

Supporters of this process argue that this secretive process is the only way for Republican to be successful in delivering on the Administration’s tax reform process. From the Ways and Means Chairman:

“It’s all about timing, in my view. So we’re focused on delivering this in 2017, and the best way to do that is to start with a unified plan.” — Kevin Brady (R-TX)

Republicans also argue that issues of tax reform has been discussed for a very long time so the bill isn’t likely to be something that can’t be understood. They feel the parameters of the bill are well-known.

Opposition

Democrats have vowed to fight back against the bill and note that the decision makers haven’t held an organizing meeting this year nor have they gathered for hearings. Read more about the tax reform plans here:

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