Skip to main content

TAX TAKE: Senators Johnson, Tillis, and Blackburn: Hello, Enjoy the Finance Committee Party

Tax Alert

Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced the Senate Republican committee assignments for the 118th Congress, which included the top Republican for every committee and new members. As expected, Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) remained the top Republican for the Finance Committee. Three new Republicans were also selected for the committee: Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

As former Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Johnson has experience with government oversight and investigations. With the IRS under the spotlight in Congress, this could be an area of focus for him this year. In addition, Senator Johnson is also a long-time champion of the section 199A pass-through deduction. During the drafting of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), Senator Johnson advocated Republican leadership to expand the section 199A deduction, which was accommodated by increasing the proposed corporate tax rate by one percentage point in the draft bill (from 20 percent to 21 percent) to pay for the pass-through deduction increase. Section 199A will become an increasing focus of the Congress considering its pending expiration at the end of 2025 

Senators Tillis and Blackburn have been more circumspect on tax policy in recent years. That said, Senator Tillis has a expressed an interest in international tax and trade matters, filling the gap left by former Senator and Finance Committee member Rob Portman (R-OH), a leader in that space. In this regard, Senator Tillis may consider reintroducing the international tax bill that Senator Portman introduced late last year. Senator Tillis also has an interest in pro-small business legislation, including promoting employee ownership and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). Additionally, last summer, Senator Blackburn was very active during Senate consideration of the tax proposals in the Inflation Reduction Act, particularly energy, small business, and IRS issues.

With the Finance Committee roster set, expect committee Democrats and Republicans to begin outlining their tax policy priorities for this Congress. That will help stakeholders consider which Finance members to target as potential champions for particular industry issues and assess areas where the Senate may be able to legislate this year. We'll help you stay abreast of developments as the 118th Congress gets underway. #TaxTake

Upcoming Speaking Engagements and Events 

On February 10, Loren will speak at the ABA Section of Taxation 2023 Midyear Meeting in San Diego. She will participate in a panel discussion entitled, "Riding the ICAP and APA Wave."

Loren will present "Legislative & Regulatory Tax Policy Roundtable: Much of the Latter & None of the Former?" at the TEI Midyear Conference on March 21.

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.