Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Senior White House Adviser Says Joint Select Committee Can Reform Federal Tax Code

The joint select Congressional committee established by the Budget Control Act can reform the federal tax code as part of its mandate to reduce the deficit, says Gene Sperling, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. In a statement , he noted that the Joint Committee can reduce the deficit through tax reform and eliminating tax expenditures just like it can cut spending. While what it ultimately does is up to the members of the Committee, the Administration hopes that they seize this opportunity to come together and build on the down-payment in the debt ceiling deal to put the Nation on a sustainable fiscal course in a balanced way that cuts spending in the tax code as well in the rest of the budget. The President believes that is possible and looks forward to working with both parties to accomplish this..

The Joint Committee is tasked with deficit reduction, said Mr. Sperling, who is also Director of the National Economic Council, and the Committee can reduce the deficit by cutting spending and getting rid of tax loopholes and expenditures. Everything is on the table, he emphasized, as it should be. The Committee can consider getting rid of tax expenditures like subsidies for oil and gas companies or corporate jet owners. These types of tax changes, including the carried interest provisions, have been a major part of the recent deficit reduction conversation and would be a smart part of an overall balanced plan. No one on any side can dispute that the Joint Committee could consider them, said the Director.

By November 23, 2011, the Joint Select Committee must vote on a report containing a detailed statement of the findings and recommendations of the Committee, with legislative language to carry out the recommendations. The report and the proposed legislative language requires the approval of a majority of the Committee.
The Select Joint Committee must, by December 2, 2011, submit its report and the legislative language to the President, the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, and the Majority and Minority Leaders of both Houses. The must also promptly make the full report and legislative language, and a record of the vote, available to the public.

Any committee of the House or Senate to which the Select Joint Committee bill is referred must report it to the House or Senate floor without amendment by December 9, 2011. The House and Senate must vote on the Committee’s proposed legislation by December 23, 2011 and no amendments will be permitted.