Taxes

Analysis: Why Recent Tax Overhaul Efforts Failed and This One May, Too
Republicans taking tax message on the road this week without details

Four years ago, former House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp and former Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus speak with Mrs. G TV and Appliances president Debbie Schaeffer and Marguerite Mount, the store’s accountant, during the Camp-Baucus Tax Reform Tour stop in Lawrence, N.J. It didn’t result in a legislative victory. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The last time Republican tax writers unveiled legislation for overhauling the tax code, it elicited this telling response from the speaker of the House: “Blah, blah, blah, blah.”

It was Feb. 26, 2014, and the House Ways and Means Committee had just unveiled a tax overhaul discussion draft, with full legislative text and both dynamic and static scores from the Congressional Budget Office.

Tax Overhaul ‘Ain’t Going to Happen’ If Not by Thanksgiving, Meadows Says
Freedom Caucus chairman says it would be difficult to support corporate rate above 20 percent

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., says a tax overhaul needs to complete by Thanksgiving or it will not happen. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows endorsed Wednesday the White House’s aggressive timetable for overhauling the tax code, saying the effort will die if a bill doesn’t pass before Thanksgiving.

“If we do not have a bill that we’re actually debating in September [that] hopefully gets a vote in October, it will not get to the president’s desk by Thanksgiving. … If it doesn’t get there by Thanksgiving guys, it ain’t going to happen,” the North Carolina Republican said to a crowd of conservative activists at an Americans for Prosperity rally at the Newseum. 

'Mooch' is Out, General In at White House
 

House Republicans’ August Messaging Plan: Deflect and Pivot
Recess resource kits highlight bills House GOP passed, tax overhaul plans

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and House Republicans plan to spend August touting bills they’ve passed and their plans to overhaul the tax code. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans left Washington largely stumped about how to go home for a monthlong recess and defend to their constituents Congress’ failure to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. 

The concerns were so great that many members during a GOP conference meeting Friday — just hours after a Senate vote on a scaled-back repeal bill failed — pleaded with leadership to keep the House in session in August.

White House Talks Tax Outreach, but Senators Guarded
Legislative director outlines ambitious timetable

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short, left, here with Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso last week, has hopes for a bipartisan tax overhaul effort. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll)

The White House sees Democrats up for re-election in states President Donald Trump won as possible partners in their effort to overhaul the tax code, but Senate Republicans appear less optimistic about the chances of a bipartisan bill.

White House legislative director Marc Short said Monday the White House is not wed to using the often partisan reconciliation process to advance a tax overhaul, though senators were hesitant to rule out that procedural tool.

GOP Tax Unity Statement Creates Messaging, Negotiating Room
Big Six negotiators leave plenty of space on the table for differing ideas

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady plans to spend the August recess pitching a tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP congressional and administration leaders’ joint tax overhaul statement took one big item off the negotiating table Thursday but left almost everything else on it. And that’s likely by design. 

The official death of the border adjustment tax removes the most controversial idea from the tax overhaul conversation and provides GOP lawmakers and stakeholder groups with room to message on aspects of the tax rewrite effort that have garnered less attention. 

No Budget, No Tax Reform: GOP Faces Reality of Remaining Agenda
House Republicans optimistic despite lacking votes for budget resolution

Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady remains optimistic that House Republicans can pass a budget resolution to set up the reconciliation process for a tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“Clearly, no budget, no tax reform.”

That comment made by House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady on Thursday, and then again for good measure on Monday, is the primary selling point on which House Republican leaders are hoping to whip up enough support to pass their fiscal 2018 budget resolution. Yet that pitch has done little to appease the naysayers.

Paul Ryan: 'Don't Fall For' Cynicism on Tax Overhaul
Speaker touts plan at New Balance factory in Massachusetts

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., spoke Thursday about GOP plans to overhaul the tax code. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has a message for American families who only hear cynical talk coming out of Washington: “Don’t fall for it.”

Specifically, the Wisconsin Republican was addressing cynicism surrounding his top legislative priority of rewriting the nation’s tax code, which he acknowledges will be a heavy lift.

Budget Battle Opening Salvo Still Stalled
House GOP not focused on endgame as much as negotiating marker

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black is moving forward with a budget resolution that does not reflect what can be agreed to in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans have spent a month arguing over key pieces of a budget resolution that faces little chance of passage in the Senate. But they are focused less on the endgame than staking out their own position.

House members frequently view legislation they have passed as a marker for their position heading into bicameral negotiations.

Roll Call Reporters Asked Members of Congress To Release Their Tax Returns. Here’s What They Found
 

Throughout last year’s election and continuing into 2017, Democrats and Republicans alike have called for President Donald Trump to release his tax returns. Members of Congress, however, have not faced such pressure to disclose their tax information. Roll Call reporters Stephanie Akin and Sean McMinn set out to answer this question: how many members of Congress will release their own tax returns?