November 13, 2013

Video: Wyden Questions Elmendorf about Eliminating “Flagrant Tax Loopholes” at Budget Conference Meeting

Washington, D.C. – Below is a transcript as well as links to audio and video of U.S. Senator Ron Wyden’s round of questioning at today’s meeting of the House-Senate conference committee on the federal budget.

Wyden: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Director Elmendorf, I think we know traditionally, when you are trying to find a consensus for a conference like this, you look to both sides in areas where they are on record as supporting changes. For example, Chairman Camp in the House and the President’s Treasury Department have identified among the trillion dollars in tax expenditures, that the tax treatment of derivatives is particularly inefficient and abusive.

Now, you can’t be in the business of advocating specific policies this morning, and we all get that, so let me just put this as a theory. Is it correct to say that, theoretically—theoretically—you could eliminate several of the most flagrant tax loopholes without compromising the broader tax reform agenda? Just in theory.

Elmendorf: Yes, Senator, that sounds right to me.

Wyden: Thank you for that, and the only other thing I wanted to do, Chairman Ryan, is to ask that we put into the record at this point a chart that Director Elmendorf sent you a few weeks ago. I thought it was particularly important because the chart demonstrates that for 2014, Congress adhered to the caps in non-defense discretionary spending and chose to disregard the caps for defense. I would just ask unanimous consent that we put that chart into the record at this point.

I thank you, and I thank the director.  

Click here to download audio.