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Hatch Cites ‘Opportunity’ for Tax Reform

There is now an “even greater opportunity” for tax reform, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at a Feb. 1 meeting at its Washington, DC headquarters. Hatch said he hopes there will be a tax reform proposal “in the near future” but spoke in broad principles that lacked specifics — including what it may portend for retirement plans.

Hatch cited the new prospects for tax reform with a Republican in the White House and the party in control of both chambers of Congress. “Republicans are united in their commitment to reform our nation’s broken tax system,” Hatch said.

He added that the majority party in Congress generally agrees that tax reform should:

  • be pro-growth;

  • be comprehensive; and

  • address business and individual tax issues.

Among the goals is to work toward, he said, is a tax system that “picks fewer winners and losers.” And he expressed confidence that “because we agree on these principles, there is every reason to believe we can work through the details.”

Hatch also discussed the political realities surrounding tax reform, noting that the Republicans have 52 votes in the Senate, so “the margin for error is only two votes.” He said that there probably will have to be a Senate tax bill separate from that which the House considers, and that “the Senate will have to work through its own tax reform process if it has any chance of succeeding.”