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Nov. 9 — Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) will chair the Joint Committee on Taxation at the start of the 115th Congress in January.
The JCT position is filled on a rotating basis by the Senate Finance Committee chairman and the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, changing annually.
During the first session of each Congress, which lasts one calendar year, the head of the House committee leads the JCT and the Senate committee’s chairman becomes vice chair; the roles are reversed during the second year of a Congress. Brady, who remains Ways and Means chairman, will therefore add the formal JCT chair role per the regular schedule, while Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) becomes the JCT’s vice chairman.
In 2016, Hatch chaired the JCT and Brady served as vice chair.
The JCT is largely considered a scorekeeper on revenue legislation, forecasting whether or not a bill would raise or lose money. After the 2014 midterm elections, when the committee’s leadership was shuffled, giving it a GOP chairman and vice chairman, the JCT was also charged with forecasting the economic impact of select revenue bills through so-called dynamic scoring.
Both the House Republican tax plan championed by Brady—dubbed the blueprint—and Hatch’s proposal to eliminate double taxes on corporate income—called corporate integration—are expected to receive dynamic scores from the JCT.
JCT Chief of Staff Thomas Barthold is expected to remain in his position. The committee’s congressional membership is split between five House and five Senate members, with those who get JCT slots based on their seniority on the tax-writing panels.
One lawmaker currently serving on the JCT—Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.)—is retiring this year and will have to be replaced.
House members in line to remain on the committee include Sam Johnson (R-Texas), Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Ways and Means ranking member Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.). Members from the other side of the Capitol include Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), Michael D. Crapo (R-Idaho), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
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