Brady lowers expectations for tax reform after winning Ways and Means gavel

Tax Hot Topics: Brady lowers expectations for tax reform Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, has replaced new House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as the top tax writer in the House after beating out Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, in the race to chair the Ways and Means Committee.

Brady immediately plugged the need for entitlement and tax reform but acknowledged that tax reform is unlikely under the current administration. “We’re counting on a Republican president in the White House to advance tax reform,” he said.

Brady’s first order of business will be to help negotiate an agreement with the Senate over the 50-plus extender tax provisions that expired at the end of 2014. He has strongly supported Ryan’s efforts throughout the year to make several of the provisions, such as the research credit, permanent. Brady may also need to help resolve the funding package for the highway bill.

Highway funding is scheduled to expire on Nov. 20, and the House and Senate are currently working on reauthorization bills. Both the House and Senate bills are funded primarily with nontax provisions, but both do include provisions that would resurrect the private debt collection program and revoke passports for taxpayers with more than $50,000 in unpaid tax debt. Ryan had been pushing to use international reform to help fund highways, but the prospects for these efforts continue to wane.

Brady is unlikely to take the Ways and Means Committee in a whole new direction. He is a long-time member of the committee who loyally supported Ryan’s agenda. He is well-respected by the caucus but might not have the same influence as the popular Ryan. Brady has strongly supported extending the state and local sales tax deduction and repealing the estate tax.

Dustin Stamper
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