POLITICS: PennAve

Steny Hoyer: GOP tax reform effort doomed without Democratic support

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Congress,Taxes,House of Representatives,PennAve,Sean Lengell,Dave Camp,Steny Hoyer,Budgets and Deficits

The No. 2 Democrat in the House has dismissed a Republican plan to simplify the tax code as nothing more than partisan gamesmanship, saying it will take a genuine bipartisan effort to push through meaningful reforms.

Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., is expected on Wednesday to introduce a GOP tax reform proposal that reportedly would lower the top income tax rate to 25 percent from 39.6 percent. The plan also is expected to impose a new surtax on some earned income above about $450,000.

Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said that while he hasn't seen the plan's specifics, "you have to have bipartisan cooperation, you have to have a president engaged and working cooperatively with Congress" before any tax reform bill will become law.

"And I don't see that [with Camp's bill], to say the least," Hoyer said. "So it's difficult to see how we move forward."

"I'm sorry that it wasn't a bipartisan proposal — that would've given it maybe some legs."

Hoyer denied his party would try to block any GOP tax reform efforts as retribution for Republicans' lack of cooperation when Democrats proposed their own reforms when they controlled the chamber in 2010.

"I don't think there's lingering bitterness … I don't think the past is going to undermine it," Hoyer said. "What may undermine it is the inability to work together and come to an agreement. And this partisan start is not a good start."

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