Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Boehner Declines to Endorse Camp’s Tax Reform (Updated) (Video)

 (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hours ahead of the rollout, Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio declined to endorse Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp’s plan for a rewrite of the country’s tax code.

Pressed repeatedly on whether he supports the bill that the Camp, R-Mich., will unveil Wednesday afternoon, Boehner said only that it is a “discussion draft” that will begin a “conversation” about the issues.

“Jesus,” he said exasperatedly, when asked whether the plan would be voted on this year. “We’re going to start the conversation today, and I expect the members and our constituents and the American people to take part in the conversation.”

Boehner in previous years had labeled tax reform one of his top priorities — and it was a key feature of his failed grand bargain talks with President Barack Obama. Yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., poured cold water on the chances of anything happening on the issue this year.

  • donaldeljohnson

    The Camp bill as described online yesterday received a cool reception from the commenters I read. They seemed to see it as double talk and a waste of time as drafted. I don’t like putting a 10% surtax on couples earning $450K+. That just invites Democrats to lower that number to $80k when they win the power to do so, which they will sooner or later.

    There are no Small Government Republicans in Washington.

  • donaldeljohnson

    David Camp looks like an Obama Republican who wants to transfer wealth, soak the rich, enrich his favored few and buy votes.

  • voltaic

    Republicans hate taxing the wealthy, but they love taking everything possible form the poor and middle class. A 10% surcharge is an excellent idea and it allows the lower rungs of the economic ladder to catch up to the 1%.

    If nothing else, it’s nice to see the GOP eat its own instead of eating the poor and middle class.

  • Layla

    The tax code has not been changed since the 80’s. I wouldn’t blame that totally on the Republicans.

    It’s patently clear that big business controls BOTH SIDES of the aisle in Congress. What they say goes.

  • cbarneym

    Decade by decade the wealthy continue to own more and more of all American income and assets.

    Between 1989 and 2004 the following 2006 Federal Reserve Board bulletin, “Changes in distribution of wealth 1989-2004 (FRB) p11, p29-30,” reports that American wealth was divided, and changed, as follows:

    [Net worth = assets – debt]
    Net Worth of bottom 50% down from 3.0% to 2.5%
    Net Worth of top 50% up from 97% to 97.5%
    Within the top 50% the Net Worth of top 10% up from 67.2% to 69.5%
    Bottom 90% owe 72.8% of all debt

    Between 1979 and 2007 (Reagan and GW Bush) after-tax shares of all U.S. income changed per Congressional Budget Office Data ( as follows:

    * The after tax share income of top 1percent increased from 8 percent to 17 percent
    * The wealthiest 20 percent income quintile share increased from 43 percent to 53 percent of all income
    * The middle-three income quintiles share of all U.S. income went down 2 to 3 percentage points
    * The lowest-income quintile share fell from approximately 7 percent in 1979 to about 5 percent.

    Data from the IRS ( shows that, “For 2008, returns in the top 10-percent group… reported 45.8 percent of AGI (adjusted gross income).”

    Wage statistics from the Social Security Administration ( shows that “By definition, 50 percent of wage earners had net compensation less than or equal to the median wage, which is estimated to be $26,363.55 for 2010.” Even if working full time the lower 50% of all workers make less than $13 per hour.

    A 7/23/08 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article, “Richest Americans See Their Income Share Grow,” says “the tax rate of the wealthiest 1% fell to its lowest level in at least 18 years. The group’s share of the tax burden has risen though not as quickly as its share of income.” (

    Moreover, the plutocrats’ increased income and share of tax burden means the income of all others has fallen, which is the reason middle-class and low income citizens pay little or no federal income tax.

    WSJ also reports(“Some Surprises in Icome-Tax Free Househods) on 9/18/12) that: “The percentage of households paying no income tax drops sharply after around $50,000, but there are still a few households that pay no income tax, even in the high-income range. About 1% of households with cash income of more than $1 million, 4,000 in all, paid no income tax.

  • wttexas

    Bad idea,,,and why???
    if there are 7 brackets now,,,and they are reduced to 2,,,that sounds like a disaster,,,our society is way too broad for this narrow grouping,,,
    keed it up repubs,,,you will be history,,,

  • Layla

    We need a Fair Tax.

  • Mantlebuck

    Tax reform and the speaker wants nothing to do with it. As a Republican I am embarrassed for my party. We have become the party of do nothing. No Tax reform bill, no health care reform bill. Speaker if you do not like Camps bill then come up with your own.

  • yesIDeeClaire

    Fact: More debt was run up in Hussein Obama’s first four years of office than under the first 42 Presidents combined.

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