WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding President Bush’s appointment of former U.S. Senators Connie Mack (FL) and John Breaux (LA) to head a bipartisan tax reform panel:
“Senators Mack and Breaux are two qualified, strong leaders who are widely respected and the decision by President Bush today to appoint them to head a bipartisan tax reform panel is an important one. But no one should delude themselves: If meaningful tax reform is to be accomplished, it must be a truly bipartisan effort where all views receive a full, fair hearing and the Administration restrains itself from trying to achieve a preordained result.
“I urge Senators Mack and Breaux to move this process forward as soon as possible. Tax reform is long overdue, and ironically the tax bills signed into law by President Bush during his first term only made the tax code more complicated. Public confidence in the integrity of our tax system is critical, and we must act without delay.
“Democrats have every intention of fighting for our core principles on this issue – fairness, simplicity and responsibility. Tax reform must increase taxpayer fairness. The middle-class must not be forced to bear a larger tax burden. The code must be made simple. The costs of complying with the tax laws – estimated by some at more than $100 billion a year – are a drag on our economy. And tax reform must be fiscally responsible. We must ensure that it does not add to our record deficits and debt.”