Ways and Means Chair Cites Challenges in Passing Comprehensive Tax Reform

On February 25 at a Brookings Institute event, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX) discussed his goals for reforming the U.S. tax code. Mr. Brady said he hopes to achieve revenue-neutral reforms, using “dynamic scoring,” which estimates the effects policy changes would have on economic growth.  Mr. Brady highlighted the political challenges in passing a comprehensive tax reform bill in Congress this year.

“Tax reform is always difficult,” Mr. Brady said. “That’s why it happens once a generation. It’s incredibly difficult. My point is not all the deductions and exclusions will go but not all of them will stay. And each one is going to be weighed on how much does this grow the economy, how much does this grow paychecks. We don’t go into tax reform with rose-colored glasses here. We know it’s hard. But you’ve got to find a way that the average family understands why simplifying the code is better for them.”

NLIHC continues to advocate for significant funding for the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) through federal tax reform. Modifications to the mortgage interest deduction (MID) are the basis of the United for Homes campaign to fund the NHTF and of H.R. 1662, the “Common Sense Housing Investment Act,” introduced by Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN). The Ellison bill offers a template for reforming the MID when comprehensive tax reform takes place.

Watch a recording of the Brookings event webcast at: http://www.brookings.edu/events/2016/02/25-tax-policy-2016.