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POLITICS: PennAve

Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid pull plug on 2014 tax reform

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Politics,Congress,Susan Ferrechio,Taxes,Harry Reid,Mitch McConnell,PennAve,Budgets and Deficits,Law,Tax Reform

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he has “no hope” that Congress will be able to pass a comprehensive tax reform measure this year.

McConnell, speaking to reporters after a private meeting with rank-and-file Republicans, blamed the hold up on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and President Obama, who he said are insisting tax reform produce $1 trillion in new revenue.

McConnell said Republicans want tax reform to lower rates without adding additional revenue to the nation's coffers, a plan that would follow the tax reform agreement forged during the 1980s by Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker Tip O'Neill.

“We can’t get that out of this majority leader and out of this president,” McConnell said. “So I think we will not be able to finish the job, regretfully, in 2014.”

The House, however, may not agree with McConnell.

McConnell’s declaration comes a day before House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., is expected to release a comprehensive tax reform plan that lowers rates and broadens the tax base.

Reid, when asked Tuesday about his demand that tax reform raise revenue, told reporters “I have no preconception on this.”

But Reid admitted that given the gridlock in the Senate, passing anything in 2014, which is a critical election year, “will be extremely difficult.”

Senate Democrats have no official plan yet to move forward on tax reform. Newly minted Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, R-Ore., is planning to produce his own comprehensive reform of the nation's tax code, which he called in a recent Los Angeles speech, a “dysfunctional, rotting mess of a carcass.”

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Susan Ferrechio

Chief Congressional Correspondent
The Washington Examiner