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McConnell, Reid agree tax reform likely doomed in Senate

Politico reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reached a moment of agreement on tax reform Tuesday, when both shot down chances of advancing reform legislation in the Senate this year.

On the eve of the release of tax reform draft written by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, neither Senate leader would directly take the blame for a tax reform dead-end in the Senate.

“I don’t see how we can because the majority leader and the president have said they want $1 trillion in new revenue for the federal government as a condition for doing comprehensive tax reform, which we know we ought to do,” McConnell said at a press conference Tuesday. “Now, if we had a new Republican Senate next year, coupled with a Republican House, I think that we could have at least a congressional agreement that this is about getting rates down and making America more competitive. Not about giving the government revenue. So I have no hope for that happening this year.”

Reid agreed that tax reform isn’t happening this year, but he said Republicans were to blame.

“It would be extremely difficult with the obstruction that we get here from the Republicans on virtually everything, to do something that should have been done years ago,” he said. “I think that Camp is right in coming forward on a piece of legislation.”

Reid said the ultimate decision on how to move forward would fall to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, who took over the committee this month.

For his part, Wyden would not commit to a timeline. He told reporters today that he needs to spend time speaking with Senators about their concerns and hopes to renew a package of expired tax breaks, known as extenders, as a bridge to tax reform.

Camp is expected to unveil a comprehensive tax reform proposal Wednesday at a 1:30 p.m. press conference.