Two prominent Republican lawmakers are heading for a showdown over whether Congress should use money from closing tax loopholes to avert major cuts to Pentagon spending.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) has sent a strong signal he does not support closing tax loopholes this year, which might imperil plans by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
McCain, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said late last week that he is eyeing the elimination of tax loopholes in the hopes of striking a bipartisan deal on defense sequestration.
Camp, in an op-ed published in Tuesday’s edition of The Hill, said he would lay out his principles for comprehensive tax reform before August. He intends to pay for lower individual income and corporate tax rates by eliminating niche deductions.
“It is clear taxpayers are sick and tired of a code filled with special-interest loopholes that picks winners and losers and creates massive complexity,” he wrote. “The tax code should be simpler, flatter and fairer. By eliminating lobbyist loopholes, we can lower rates and create a healthier, stronger economy with more jobs.”
This puts Camp at odds with McCain, who suggested Friday that tax loopholes could be closed to avert $55 billion in automatic defense cuts scheduled to happen in 2013.