Republican House lawmakers are advocating the passage of a bill that would put a deadline on Congress to replace the current Internal Revenue Code – which is over 70,000 pages – after December 31, 2019.
At press conference Thursday, Colin Hanna, the president of Let Freedom Ring, a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit public policy organization, said while there has been a lot of talk about tax reform in the legislative branch, it is time to give a deadline to actually take action.
“The tax code has become incomprehensible, inefficient and inequitable,” he said, adding he believes the current system is a “monstrosity.” “And it’s our position that it’s the best way to address problem is to start fresh. It should be about three years to reform the tax code starting after from scratch with all new fresh ideas.”
The legislation, introduced by Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, has picked up a range of support, with 130 cosigners in the lower chamber. It does not specify what would be the best way to go about reforming the code, instead advocates for the discussion and change of current policy.
“This has got to go. Saying we’ve got to scrap the code is the first way of doing that, we did it twice in the ’90s and the fact that our code had just gotten worse and our situation in terms of our economic growth and competitiveness around the world has gotten worse that we bring this to the floor to say to the American people we want meaningful tax reform now,” he said.
House Ways and Means Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam said neither party has been defending the status quo on the current code, and this bill gives lawmakers plenty of time to have meaningful discussions on the best way to approach the issue.
“It’s one the to talk about tax reform, it’s one thing to write op-eds about tax reform, but it’s another thing to create the urgency about moving tax reform and I think that time has come now,” the Illinois Republican said. ” Congress tends to be a crisis driven institution, it tends to be an institution driven by deadlines, since that is true, let’s create a deadline.”
A date has not yet been set for it to be considered in the Ways and Means Committee.