Republicans Balked at Camp Tax Plan Drafts, Schock Says

Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee resisted parts of the early versions of Chairman Dave Camp’s plan for the biggest tax-code changes since 1986, said Republican Representative Aaron Schock.

Camp, who hasn’t released a complete tax bill publicly, made changes in response to members’ concerns, said Schock of Illinois, who spoke at a Bloomberg Government breakfast today in Washington.

“When we went through the rough drafts, there was some screaming and gnashing of teeth,” Schock said.

Schock wouldn’t disclose the content of the proposal, which Camp and other lawmakers have kept secret in part by holding meetings with members that excluded their staff.

Camp, a Michigan Republican, has said he wants to lower the corporate and individual tax rates to 25 percent and curtail tax breaks to prevent the government from losing revenue. That effort has been stymied by the partisan dispute over whether tax changes should raise additional revenue.

Camp is also losing his Democratic partner, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, who is President Barack Obama’s nominee to be ambassador to China.

That switch, which is expected to lead to Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden taking over as Finance chairman, may delay action on tax-code changes in the House.

‘Very Difficult’

“If you don’t know what it’s going to take to pass in the Senate, it becomes very difficult to keep your team together,” Schock said.

Schock said Republicans have delayed releasing the bill so they can focus on implementation of the 2010 health-care law.

Camp, in a brief interview yesterday, said he didn’t have a specific date in mind for releasing his bill. He has publicly released drafts in several areas, including international taxation and financial products.

Schock praised Wyden’s track record on taxes, noting that he has offered his own complete proposal.

Schock, 32, was first elected to Congress in 2008. He represents a central Illinois district near the headquarters of Caterpillar Inc.

He said Caterpillar executives would support a 25 percent tax rate paired with lighter taxes on foreign income even if the company loses targeted tax breaks.

Without offering details of Camp’s plan, Schock said, “The large institutions in my district will be happy with it.”