Rep. Kevin Brady is a busy man these days. He’s chairing Congress’ Joint Economic Committee. He’s heading up the House Ways & Means Committee Health Subcommittee.
Now he’s taking on new and significant responsibilities: He’s been asked by House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp to coordinate a bipartisan task force looking at energy-related provisions of the tax code.
Brady’s intensive mission — the deadline is tax day, April 15 — is to study how comprehensive tax reform should affect the energy sector of the U.S. economy.
The Republican from The Woodlands said his goal is to modernize energy tax code provisions — some of which date to 1913 and 1914 — to focus on “making it more competitive globally.” The reform mix could include lower rates and closing loopholes, he said.
Brady said the energy industry currently pays an effective tax rate of 40 percent, compared to 25 percent for most other businesses.
“If we want lower rates and we want a simpler tax code, the status quo is not an option,” he said in an interview with Texas on the Potomac this morning.
Brady’s Democratic partner in the tax-reform exercise is Rep. Mike Thompson, a California Democrat.
The Texas Republican said he and Thompson are “not expected to come to a consensus.” Instead, their goal is to “identify key questions that the committee should be asking” as it pursues comprehensive tax reform this year.
“Chairman Camp is dead serious about moving fundamental [tax] reform this year,” Brady said.