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Senate Tax Writers Promise 50 Years of Secrecy
Friday, July 26, 2013 6:00 AM

In the July 24 issue of The Hill, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont) and the panel's top Republican, Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) made a bold—and alarming—promise to their colleagues: 50 years’ worth of secrecy in exchange for suggestions about what deductions and credits to preserve in tax reform. Each submission will be given its own ID number and be kept on password-protected servers, with printed versions kept in locked safes.

The deadline for Senators to submit their ideas for which parts of the tax code to retain is today.

According to The Hill, "The lengths Baucus and Hatch have gone to reassure their colleagues [of secrecy] underscores the importance the tax writers are placing on the blank-slate plan, and it shows they are working hard to ensure that all 100 senators engage in the process by guaranteeing all submissions will be kept under lock and key by the committee and the National Archives until the end of 2064."

Republicans want the additional revenue from a simplified code to be used solely for lowering tax rates, and Democrats want some of the windfall to go toward paying down the deficit. Regardless of their long-standing, unresolved differences, both parties are moving forward on the blank-slate approach regarding revenue. Baucus announced that the Finance panel would mark up a tax reform bill this fall, after reviewing his colleagues' submissions during the August recess, and he suggested that senators who took part in the blank-slate process will have greater influence.

This news only strengthens our commitment to keeping the pressure on our lawmakers to ensure the credit union federal tax exemption doesn't get swallowed up in any secret cuts. Please don’t wait to contact your U.S. legislators. Call or write today, and let Congress know about the credit union difference. Keep tweeting your legislators as well, using the hashtag #DontTaxMyCU.