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Why You Should Care About the House Republican Tax Reform Blueprint

Date: 17 August 2016
Public Policy and Law Alert
By: Mary Burke Baker, Daniel F. C. Crowley, Karishma Shah Page, Steven R. Valentine, Elizabeth A. Nelli, Peter V. Nelson

While you’re thinking about that beach getaway this summer, Chairman Brady’s staff on the Ways and Means Committee is beginning the work of vetting the House Republican Tax Reform Blueprint (the “Blueprint”) with stakeholders and putting pencil to paper so the Blueprint will be drafted into legislative text by the time the new Congress convenes in January.  This period of time offers real opportunities to tell members and staff what you like about the plan, as well as what you don’t like.  They want this input to help shape the ultimate proposal.  Failing to understand this is a serious effort and dismissing the Blueprint as just another idea that is going nowhere poses real risks. 

Here’s why:
The Blueprint was developed in part to advise the GOP Platform, and Republican nominee Donald Trump’s campaign has released an updated tax reform plan that incorporates many of the ideas in the Blueprint.  Mr. Trump said during his acceptance speech at the convention that lowering taxes will cause new companies and new jobs to come “roaring” back into the United States, predicting “Believe me, it will happen, and it will happen fast.”  Reinforcing Mr. Trump’s remarks, Chairman Brady said House Republicans would work with Mr. Trump “in the first 100 days of the new presidency to fix this broken tax code….”

But what if Donald Trump isn’t elected president?
Barring unforeseen events, the House is expected to stay under Republican control after the November elections.  With or without Donald Trump, Speaker Ryan and Chairman Brady have identified tax reform as a priority in the 115th Congress.  Whatever legislation evolves from the Blueprint will be teed up and ready to go when the new Congress convenes.  It’s easier to help inform and shape that plan before it’s introduced rather than after. 

The Blueprint is sufficiently vague about exactly how various types of businesses and companies would fare.  For example, the Blueprint supports eliminating many tax gimmicks, loopholes, and strategies, but doesn’t say what they are.  The only safe assumption is to assume nothing is safe. 

Please contact the tax policy team with questions about the Blueprint and to discuss how you can get involved.

This publication/newsletter is for informational purposes and does not contain or convey legal advice. The information herein should not be used or relied upon in regard to any particular facts or circumstances without first consulting a lawyer. Any views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the law firm's clients.

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