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In response to their “blank slate” approach to tax reform, Senate Republican Leadership and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee today sent a letter to the panel’s chairman and ranking member saying that any comprehensive tax reform legislation should be revenue neutral for the government.          

The senators said they were concerned by recent public statements suggesting that tax reform might be used as a way to raise more taxes. In the letter to Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and ranking Republican member Orrin Hatch, the senators said that the last time Congress comprehensively reformed the tax code, in 1986, there was a bipartisan agreement that the exercise would be revenue neutral.

“We believe that any agreement today should follow this principle, and that any new revenue should be generated solely from the pro-growth effects of tax reform,” according to the letter.

The letter was signed by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican Whip John Cornyn, Conference Chairman John Thune, Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso, Conference Vice Chair Roy Blunt and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran; and Republican Finance Committee Sens. Chuck Grassley, Mike Crapo, Pat Roberts, Mike Enzi, Richard Burr, Johnny Isakson, Rob Portman and Pat Toomey.

The senators wrote that the U.S. faces long-term fiscal challenges due to the projected growth of entitlement spending, not a lack of tax revenue.

“Tax reform should not be used as a pretense for increasing the net tax burden on American families and job creators, particularly in the absence of any serious effort to address long-term spending problems,” said the letter. “If done correctly, comprehensive tax reform can ignite the nation’s economic engine and lead to shared prosperity for all. We look forward to working with you to ensure that revenue-neutral tax reform is something that attracts broad, bipartisan support and provides the economic jolt that the American economy desperately needs.”

Click here for a copy of the letter.

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