House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp today downplayed the chances that tax reform touted by presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney would be taken up this year.
Romney, speaking at a private fundraiser Sunday night, reportedly said he would eliminate or limit a mortgage interest deduction for second homes owned by high-income individuals.
The Michigan Republican, however, who endorsed the former Massachusetts governor in February, told reporters that House Republicans are not looking at that particular deduction, which Romney said he wants to eliminate in order to pay for a proposed income tax cut of 20 percent for all taxpayers.
“In terms of the mortgage deduction, no, we’re not looking at repealing that at this time,” Camp said. “You don’t have to eliminate all deductions to get to [the lower rate]. You will be able to keep some of them. So I’m not willing to say that is one in total that has to go.”
Romney made the comments at a private dinner, and reporters outside the event overheard them. Camp said he saw the comments after the fact but did not speak with Romney before he made them and added that he wants to know more about what Romney was referencing, such as what income levels would lose the deduction.
“I want to look at it more closely, but obviously as a presidential candidate, he’s going to have some ideas on tax reform as well,” Camp said. “They’re not necessarily views that the committee’s about to get, but we’re going to be looking at all of those items. And obviously I’m going to listen very carefully” to Romney, because “he’s virtually our nominee.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.