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Yesterday, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) announced that in the 113th Congress, H.R. 1 – traditionally the designation given to legislation deemed most important by the majority – would be reserved for tax reform.

According to The Hill newspaper:

“The decision, confirmed by the Ohio Republican’s office, underlines the GOP’s determination to press ahead with the first rewrite of the tax code since 1986 despite concerns within the party."

“Fixing our tax code is one of my highest legislative priorities for this Congress,” Boehner said in a Tuesday speech to the Credit Union National Association. “It’s time we shift the balance of power from the tax collector to the taxpayer.”

Building on earlier House action

The Boehner announcement on tax reform puts to rest any questions about whether tax reform will move this year and builds on the news earlier this month out of the House Ways and Means Committee. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Ranking Member Sandy Levin (D-MI) announced the formation of 11 separate Ways and Means Committee Tax Reform Working Groups.

The groups will be led by one Republican Member serving as Chair and one Democratic Member serving as Vice Chair. Each of the 11 groups will review current law in its designated issue area and then identify, research and compile feedback related to the topic of the working group. The working groups will be responsible for compiling feedback on its designated topic from: (1) stakeholders, (2) academics and think tanks, (3) practitioners, (4) the general public and (5) colleagues in the House of Representatives. Once the work of those groups has been completed, the Joint Committee on Taxation will prepare a report for the full Committee, due by April 15, 2013, that describes current law in each issue area and summarizes the other information gathered by the Committee Members. 

The 11 working groups and their respective Chair and Vice Chair are listed below (groups listed in alphabetical order).

Tax Reform Working Groups


Vice Chairs

Charitable/Exempt Organizations

David Reichert (R-WA)

John Lewis (D-GA)

Debt, Equity and Capital 

Kenny Marchant (R-TX)

Jim McDermott (D-WA)

Education and Family Benefits

Diane Black (R-TN) 

Danny Davis (D-IL) 


Kevin Brady (R-TX) 

Mike Thompson (D-CA)

Financial Services 

Adrian Smith (R-NE)

John Larson (D-CT) 

Income and Tax Distribution

Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) 

Joseph Crowley (D-NY)


Devin Nunes (R-CA)

Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)


Jim Gerlach (R-PA)

Linda Sanchez (D-CA) 


Pat Tiberi (R-OH) 

Ron Kind (D-WI) 

Real Estate 

Sam Johnson (R-TX)

Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) 

Small Business/Pass Throughs

Vern Buchanan (R-FL)

Allyson Schwartz (D-PA)

Murkier future in the Senate

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has also said that tax reform is a top priority for Senate lawmakers. However, given the procedural hurdles to getting anything done in the Senate, as well as the fact that Baucus is in-cycle in 2014 in a state Mitt Romney carried by a large margin in 2012, the future of tax reform in the Senate seems murkier than it is in the Republican-controlled House.

For more information

Please feel free to reach out to McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies for more information regarding tax reform and how it may impact you and what you can do about it.

Steven C. LaTourette, President | 202.737.8933

McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies LLC

101 Constitution Avenue NW, Suite 600 East, Washington, D.C. 20001


Although McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies LLC is owned by the law firm McDonald Hopkins LLC, McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies is not a law firm and does not provide legal services. Accordingly, the retention of McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies does not create a client-lawyer relationship and the protections of the client-lawyer relationship, such as attorney-client privilege and the ethics rules pertaining to conduct by lawyers, do not apply.