The Senate Finance Committee roster for the 118th Congress includes 14 Democrats and 13 Republicans, with three new GOP members recently appointed.
Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin are the new Republican members. Senator Mike Crapo, Republican of Indiana, remained the top Republican for the Finance Committee. Democratic members remained the same from the last Congress with Senator Ron Wyden, of Oregon, again wielding the gavel as chairman of the committee.
Johnson is the former chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and has experience with government oversight and investigations. With the IRS under scrutiny by lawmakers this session, Johnson may be a factor during subsequent investigations.
Johnson is also a long-time supporter of the Code Sec. 199A pass-through deduction. He lobbied Republican leadership to expand the section 199A deduction during the drafting of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA; PL 115-97). His efforts led to raising the proposed corporate tax rate by one percentage point in the draft bill (from 20% to 21%) to pay for the pass-through deduction increase. Code Sec. 199A is set to expire at the end of 2025 and will likely become an increasing focus of Congress.
Tillis has expressed an interest in international tax and trade matters and has been assigned to the Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness, a position previously held by former Senator and Finance Committee member Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio. There is speculation that Tillis may consider reintroducing the international tax bill that Portman introduced late in 2022. Tillis is also pro-small business and could introduce legislation promoting employee ownership and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).
During Senate consideration of tax proposals in the Inflation Reduction Act (PL 117-169) Blackburn was seen as very involved, focusing her interests in energy, small business, and IRS issues. Blackburn recently introduced the IRS User Fee Reduction Act. The legislation would require the IRS to reduce user fees by 95% for businesses earning less than $2.5 million in gross income.
Other Republican members include: Charles Grassley of Iowa, John Cornyn of Texas, John Thune of South Dakota, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Steve Daines of Montana, Todd Young of Indiana, and John Barrasso of Wyoming.
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