Vote on tax reform? Boehner promises only a 'conversation'

 

McClatchy Washington Bureau

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp is rolling his tax overhaul proposal later Wednesday, but House Speaker John Boehner won't commit to bringing it to a vote this year.

The Republican plan is unlikely to go anywhere in the Democratic-run Senate anyway.

Still, Boehner would not call the plan a Republican party blueprint.

"You're getting a little bit ahead of yourself," he told a reporter who asked if could be called a party plan.

"The chairman's going to outline a discussion draft to start the discussion about tax reform. We all know our tax system is broken. We all know that it, frankly, gets in the way of economic growth.

"And we've talked about this and Chairman Camp's worked on this for years. It's time to have a public conversation about the issue of tax reform. And so I welcome the conversation. Frankly, I think it'll be healthy, be informative and I look forward to it."

He emphasized that Camp's action was a first step.

"To bring down rates, you clean out a lot of the garbage that's in there and the special interest issues that are in there. And so I think we ought to have a real conversation about this, and this is the beginning of that conversation.," he said.

So will there be a vote in 2014?

"We're going to start the conversation today," Boehner responded. "Now, I expect the members and our constituents and the American people to take part in this conversation. I think it's a healthy conversation to have, and I look forward to it."

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