Skip to main content

TAX TAKE: Budget Committee Provides Added Insight on Senate Tax Priorities

Tax Alert

Always on the lookout for clues about the issues that may be in play next year, this week we take a quick look at an off-the-beaten-path hearing held by the Senate Budget Committee that focused on tax policy and the financial sector.

The Senate Budget Committee has zero jurisdiction over tax policy. At the hearing last week, Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) alluded to that fact when he noted that the Committee has never met in private on the issue. "You're seeing our full discussion of the tax code right now… but the joke's on us, because basically no one's watching." 

We beg to differ. We watched because, in a sense, the Budget Committee is a subset of the Finance Committee, at least in terms of membership. It's chaired by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who also sits on the Finance Committee. Although absent for the hearing, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) share seats on both panels, as do Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI). In other words, the Budget Committee may not have tax policy jurisdiction, but its members do.

Chairman Whitehouse wasn't shy about what he wants Congress to do in 2025. "It's not enough just to undo the damage of the Trump tax law… we must finally de-corrupt the tax code so that the wealthy and corporations finally pay a fair share," he said. In addition to calling for marginal individual rates as high as 70 percent, Senator Whitehouse's priorities include raising taxes on carried interest and stock buybacks, imposing a minimum tax on the super wealthy, and a new tax on "companies that pay their CEOS more than 50 times what they pay their average worker." 

Senator Grassley strongly warned against raising taxes on individuals. He noted that Senate Democrats themselves rejected virtually all individual tax increases when first proposed in 2021. He also took aim at a tax on financial transactions, which he described as "effectively an excise tax on every stock and bond transaction" that would punish retirement savings. Senator Johnson made the case for a radically simplified system of taxing business income flow with minimal adjustments. 

These issues and their advocates on the Budget Committee are certain to make themselves known when the Finance Committee sits down next year to address the expiring provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). #TaxTake

The information contained in this communication is not intended as legal advice or as an opinion on specific facts. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. For more information, please contact one of the senders or your existing Miller & Chevalier lawyer contact. The invitation to contact the firm and its lawyers is not to be construed as a solicitation for legal work. Any new lawyer-client relationship will be confirmed in writing.

This, and related communications, are protected by copyright laws and treaties. You may make a single copy for personal use. You may make copies for others, but not for commercial purposes. If you give a copy to anyone else, it must be in its original, unmodified form, and must include all attributions of authorship, copyright notices, and republication notices. Except as described above, it is unlawful to copy, republish, redistribute, and/or alter this presentation without prior written consent of the copyright holder.