Clarifying ATR Position on H.R. 3243
There are several news articles out this morning (here and here) asserting that Americans for Tax Reform is opposed to H.R. 3243, the "Common Sense Deficit Reduction Act of 2011," sponsored by Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) This is flatly not true.
In my capacity as Tax Policy Director at Americans for Tax Reform, I met yesterday with members of Congressman Rehberg's staff to discuss their bill. As with any legislation that impacts the tax code, I was interested to confirm that the bill would not score out as a net tax increase. Congressman Rehberg's staff told me that while they do not have a score from CBO or JCT, they are confident that their bill will not score out as a net tax increase. Should they be surprised by a score, they committed to improving the bill to ensure that no net tax increase occurs.
The Congressman's bill is a partial repeal of the jobs-killing Obamacare law. The bill is certainly a large spending cut, and Congressman Rehberg's staff is confident that it is not a net tax increase. Given that ATR does not pre-judge this latter question before a score is obtained, ATR has no issues with H.R. 3243. Reports that we did were premature at best and irresponsible journalism at worst.
H.R. 3243 contains spending cuts sufficient to satisfy the deficit-reduction target of the Super Committee. The Congressman believes that repealing those parts of the jobs-killing Obamacare law which haven't yet taken effect is a good way to reduce government spending. ATR agrees.