Dave Camp for Senate?

Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the executive editor of Bloomberg News, before which he was a reporter, bureau chief and executive Washington editor at the Wall Street Journal.
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Representative Dave Camp, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said he would decide by January whether to run for the Senate next year.

The Michigan congressman, who will work to draft a bill remaking individual and corporate taxes this fall, said that he thought the committee could complete the measure in time to make a decision on a possible Senate race early next year.

Under House rules, Camp would be term-limited as chairman of the important tax-writing committee at the end of this Congress. On occasion, House Republicans have waived those rules. If that were done for him, he said in an interview on Bloomberg Television, "obviously, that would certainly be something that I would put in the mix" in considering whether to run for the Senate.

Most congressional insiders think it would be very difficult to try to shepherd a complicated tax reform bill through the legislative process if the Ways and Means Committee chairman spends considerable time on a Senate bid. The incumbent Michigan Senator Carl Levin, a Democrat, plans to retire, and many Republicans in that state think Camp would be their strongest candidate.

Camp insisted he would push legislation that lowers both the individual and corporate top income tax rate to 25 percent. He also said he would consider eliminating or reducing a plethora of write-offs and deductions. President Barack Obama favors dealing only with corporate tax reform for now.

(Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter.)

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Albert R Hunt at ahunt1@bloomberg.net