With the limited prospects for health care reform coming to completion, the Republican-controlled Congress is facing significant pressure to show legislative accomplishments ahead of the 2018 midterm election season. Comprehensive tax reform is now Washington’s top domestic policy objective.
As Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, commented at a recent hearing, there is more momentum to pass tax reform now than at any point since 1986. While fundamental questions remain about the framework for tax reform, once they are answered, the House Ways and Means Committee is likely to move quickly to draft legislative text. The Senate Finance Committee has also initiated its work to assemble tax reform legislation and held its first hearing of the year in mid-July.
Congressional leaders are promising to send tax reform legislation to the president’s desk before the end of the calendar year or in early 2018. The August congressional recess presents the best opportunity for advocates to engage with their lawmakers at home before the tax reform debate gets into full swing.
The HTC Campaign is encouraging the following:
1. Request in-district/in-state meetings and site tours during the upcoming August recess (July 31th-September 4th) with both House and Senate Members of Congress and staff
Showing members of Congress rehabilitated historic buildings is one of the most effective ways to demonstrate the value of the HTC. Contact your congressional representatives, and ask to speak with the scheduler to request in-district/in-state meetings. If your member of Congress agrees to come, combine your meeting with a tour of a completed or planned HTC project. If the members of Congress are unavailable, it is still valuable to meet with staff. It is also beneficial to include local preservationists, developers, architects, mayors, Main Street organizations, and others in order to convey that the HTC impacts many constituent groups. Please send requests ASAP to get on your legislators’ recess schedules! Refer to a Site Visit Guide and contact Mike Phillips for additional assistance.
2. Reach out to Senate offices and ask senators to advocate for the HTC with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch
Contact Senate members during office hours between now and September 5, and ask to speak to D.C. tax staff—or ask for their email addresses. Request that senators “contact Chairman Orrin Hatch to express support for the HTC as the Senate considers a tax reform bill.”