Taxwriting Committees Announce New Members as Tax Reform Discussions Continue

CCH Tax Day Report

The taxwriting committees of the 115th Congress are taking shape as both parties fill their respective vacancies. Republican and Democratic lawmakers have filled vacant taxwriter seats on the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees.

Ways and Means

The Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Kevin Brady, R-Tex., will add three new Republican members. The lawmakers joining are Reps. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., and Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla. Each new member was recommended by the House Republican Steering Committee. The committee is responsible for recommending Republican lawmakers to serve on standing committees in the House.

“They are joining our team at a historic moment as we move forward on pro-growth tax reform,” Brady said in a statement. According to Brady, all three lawmakers have the “perfect mix” of policy and real-world expertise to assist in the forthcoming tax code overhaul.

A fourth GOP seat could be filled as Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., is expected to leave the committee. Price has been chosen by President-elect Trump to be secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Ways and Means’ new ranking member, Richard Neal, D-Mass., (TAXDAY, 2016/12/02, C.1) announced the addition of three Democrats to the committee. The lawmakers joining are Reps. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., Terri Sewell, D-Ala., and Suzan DelBene, D-Wash. Each was recommended by the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee to fill the open seats.

“This is a crucial time for our committee’s Democratic members, as we will be leading the fight in Congress to stand up for working families, develop tax policies that are fair for all Americans and small businesses and promote economic growth….” Neal said in a statement.

Additionally, Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., will become chairman of the Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee. Roskam is replacing Rep. Charles W. Boustany, R-La., who left the House in an unsuccessful run for the Senate.

Senate Finance Committee

The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) will retain its leadership under Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, and ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore. The SFC has one new member: Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La. (TAXDAY, 2017/01/04, C.1).

“I am confident that we’ll be able to continue our record of bipartisanship with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to help meet the demands before us and produce real results for the American people,” Hatch said in a statement. According to SFC member Benjamin L. Cardin’s, D-Md., social media page, the 115th Congress presents a “new opportunity to create a more perfect union.”

By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff

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