Daily Report for Executives provides in-depth coverage of unfolding legislative, regulatory, and judicial news from the nation’s capital, the states, and around the world. This daily news service...
Tax reform is not a spectator sport—unless you’re the White House.
For the first three days of the Senate Finance Committee’s markup of the tax overhaul bill, a panel of tax experts have answered senators’ questions about provisions of the bill. But the Treasury Department’s representative, Tax Legislative Counsel Tom West, has been conspicuously silent.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) asked West a series of questions Nov. 14 about the administration’s policies on several provisions in the bill. West replied that he was “not there to talk about the administration’s positions,” just “administrability.”
He has given the same response to questions from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). After receiving the same response about “administrability,” Wyden asked him sharply: “Why are you here?”
Finance Committee Republicans have not asked West questions, preferring to direct them to committee staffers or Tom Barthold, the chief of staff for the Joint Committee on Taxation.
West’s reluctance to articulate policy positions is a reflection of a White House happy to let congressional Republicans lead on tax changes. While the White House has sometimes struggled to remain on message, House and Senate tax writers have been doing the decision making.
And although President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak to House Republicans before a planned Nov. 16 floor vote, House leadership is hustling to whip the votes needed to pass the bill.
To contact the reporter on this story: Katherine Scott in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)