Tax Reform 2014: Will the GOP Pursue Rep. Camp’s Proposal?

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Reforming the American tax code was a priority for 113th Congress, which first met in January 2013. But the current session of Congress has been anything but prolific. Before the legislative body took its holiday break, the House of Representatives and the Senate had sent President Barack Obama fewer than 70 bills for his signature, making the infamous “do-nothing Congress” of the late 1940s appear active.

“Any way you measure it, quantitatively it stands out as an unusually unproductive session of Congress,” Thomas Mann, a Brookings Institution scholar, told the Los Angeles Times. Mann is the coauthor of a book on legislative dysfunction titled It’s Even Worse Than It Looks. “The problem is not the number of bills,” he said, “but what Congress specifically did that ended up inflicting harm rather than creating conditions for improved performance.”

In short, it appears unlikely that tax reforms will be passed in 2014. Even though Republicans have pledged for three years to lower the top individual income tax rate to 25 percent, it is a well-known fact that because it is a congressional election, politicians will have their focus on talking up important campaign issues. For Republicans, who have voted 49 times to defund or repeal the Affordable Care Act, the party’s main goal is reforming health care reform. Continuing to attack Obamacare is seen as giving the GOP its best chance to win back the Senate.

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