McConnell on today's tax overhaul: Forget it for now due to Democrats

McClatchy Washington BureauFebruary 26, 2014 

While House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp unveils his proposed overhaul of the nation's tax code Wednesday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell doesn't give it much change in the Democratic- run Senate.

"I don't see how we can, because the majority leader and the president have said they want a trillion dollars in new revenue for the federal government as a condition for doing comprehensive tax reform, which we know we ought to do," the Kentucky Republican told reporters Tuesday.

" The model for getting comprehensive tax reform done, and done right, was at another time a divided government -- when Ronald Reagan was in the White House and Tip O'Neill was the speaker of the House, they agreed at the outset that the purpose for comprehensive tax reform was to make America more competitive, not to make the government a big beneficiary of additional revenue.'

Congress in 1981 passed a three year, 25 percent reduction in income tax rates, though many Democrats at the time opposed the measure. In 1986, though, a bipartisan revamp of the tax code did pass. 

McConnell recalled how the 1986 plan would be revenue-neutral.

Today, he said, "we can't get that out of this majority leader and out of this president. So I think we will not be able to finish the job, regretfully, in 2014. "

And McConnell added, "If we had a new Republican Senate next year, coupled with a Republican House, I think we could have at least a congressional agreement that this is about getting rates down and making America more competitive, you know, not about giving the government even more revenue. So I have no hope for that happening this year."

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