The Ways & Means Committee derives its jurisdiction from Article One, Section Seven of the United States Constitution, which provides that, “All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” Furthermore, Rule 21, clause 5(a) of the Rules of the House allows a point of order to be raised against any bill containing a tax or tariff measure that is reported by a committee other than Ways and Means.
I want to thank Chairman Camp for asking me to hold this hearing today, as H.R. 3 clearly contains tax provisions within the Ways & Means Committee’s jurisdiction. I agree with Chairman Camp that it is imperative for the Ways & Means Committee to review—and when necessary mark up—bills containing tax-related provisions that are moving through the legislative process.
H.R. 3 was introduced by Representative Chris Smith on January 20, 2011. The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee, Energy & Commerce Committee and the Ways & Means Committee. On March 3, 2011, the Judiciary Committee ordered the bill to be favorably reported to the House. In addition, H.R. 358 was introduced by Representative Joseph Pitts on January 20, 2011. On February 15, 2011, the Energy and Commerce Committee ordered the bill favorably reported.
The purpose of today’s hearing is to review and to better understand the tax-related provisions of H.R. 3 and H.R. 358, which are within the Ways & Means Committee’s jurisdiction; and to determine to what extent these provisions work – or don’t work – as intended.
I look forward to working with Mr. Neal and the other Members of the Subcommittee to accomplish this task. In addition, I want to welcome our witness, Tom Barthold, Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, to this hearing and thank him for lending us his expertise.