The Committee on Ways and Means is the chief tax-writing committee of the United States House of Representatives. Members of the Ways and Means Committee are not allowed to serve on any other House Committee unless they are granted a waiver from their party's congressional leadership. The Committee has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs, and other revenue-raising measures, as well as a number of other programs including Social Security, unemployment benefits, Medicare, the enforcement of child support laws, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and foster care and adoption programs.
The United States Constitution requires that all bills regarding taxation must originate in the U.S. House of Representatives. Since House procedure is that all bills regarding taxation must go through this committee, the committee is very influential, as is its Senate counterpart, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance.
Recent chairmen have included Bill Thomas, Charlie Rangel, Sander Levin and Dave Camp. On November 4, 2015, U.S. Representative Kevin Brady from Texas was chosen to succeed U.S. Representative Paul Ryan as Chair, after his election as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
Committee on Ways and Means
|116th United States Congress|
|Founded||December 21, 1795|
New session started
|January 3, 2017|
The idea of a ways and means committee to handle the financial matters of a legislature is an old one, having been used in the Parliament of the United Kingdom and the colonial and early state legislatures in America.
The Ways and Means Committee was first established during the first Congress, in 1789. However, this initial version was disbanded after only 8 weeks; for the next several years, only ad hoc committees were formed, to write up laws on notions already debated in the whole House. It was first established as a standing committee by resolution adopted December 21, 1795, and first appeared among the list of regular standing committees on January 7, 1802. Upon its original creation, it held power over both taxes and spending, until the spending power was given to the new Appropriations Committee in 1865.
During the Civil War the key policy-maker in Congress was Thaddeus Stevens, as chairman of the Committee and Republican floor leader. He took charge of major legislation that funded the war effort and permanently transformed the nation's economic policies regarding tariffs, bonds, income and excise taxes, national banks, suppression of money issued by state banks, greenback currency, and western railroad land grants. Stevens was one of the major policymakers regarding Reconstruction, and obtained a House vote of impeachment against President Andrew Johnson (who was acquitted by the Senate in 1868). Hans Trefousse, his leading biographer, concludes that Stevens "was one of the most influential representatives ever to serve in Congress. [He dominated] the House with his wit, knowledge of parliamentary law, and sheer willpower, even though he was often unable to prevail." Historiographical views of Stevens have dramatically shifted over the years, from the early 20th-century view of Stevens and the Radical Republicans as tools of big business and motivated by hatred of the white South, to the perspective of the neoabolitionists of the 1950s and afterwards, who applauded their efforts to give equal rights to the freed slaves.
Three future presidents - James Polk, Millard Fillmore, and William McKinley - served as Committee Chairman. Before the official roles of floor leader came about in the late 19th century, the Chairman of Ways and Means was considered the Majority Leader. The Chairman is one of very few Representatives to have office space within the Capitol building itself.
Because of its wide jurisdiction, Ways and Means has always been one of the most important committees with respect to impact on policy. Although it lacks the prospects for reelection help that comes with the Appropriations Committee, it is seen as a valuable post for two reasons: given the wide array of interests that are affected by the committee, a seat makes it easy to collect campaign contributions and since its range is broad, members with a wide array of policy concerns often seek positions to be able to influence policy decisions. Some recent major issues that have gone through the Ways and Means Committee include welfare reform, a Medicare prescription drug benefit, Social Security reform, George W. Bush's tax cuts, and trade agreements including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
Until 1974, the Ways and Means Committee decided which chairmanships newly elected members of Congress would have, along with its regular financial duties. When Ways and Means chair Wilbur Mills' career ended in scandal, Congressman Phillip Burton transferred the committee's selection powers to a separate, newly created committee.
There are six subcommittees in the 115th Congress. In 2011, the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support was renamed the Subcommittee on Human Resources, returning to the name it held prior to the 110th United States Congress. In 2015, the Select Revenue Measures was renamed the Subcommittee on Tax Policy.
|Health||Peter Roskam (R–IL)||Sander Levin (D–MI)|
|Human Resources||Adrian Smith (R–NE)||Danny K. Davis (D–IL)|
|Oversight||Lynn Jenkins (R–KS)||John Lewis (D–GA)|
|Tax Policy||Vern Buchanan (R–FL)||Lloyd Doggett (D–TX)|
|Social Security||Sam Johnson (R-– TX)||John B. Larson (D-– CT)|
|Trade||Dave Reichert (R–WA)||Bill Pascrell (D–NJ)|
|#||Chair||Party||State||Start of Service||End of Service|
|2||William L. Smith||Federalist||SC||1794||1797|
|3||Robert G. Harper||Federalist||SC||1797||1800|
|7||George W. Campbell||Democratic-Republican||TN||1807||1809|
|8||John W. Eppes||Democratic-Republican||VA||1809||1811|
|11||John W. Eppes||Democratic-Republican||VA||1813||1815|
|17||Gulian C. Verplanck||Democratic||NY||1832||1833|
|18||James K. Polk||Democratic||TN||1833||1835|
|19||Churchill C. Cambreleng||Democratic||NY||1835||1839|
|20||John W. Jones||Democratic||VA||1839||1841|
|22||James I. McKay||Democratic||NC||1843||1847|
|23||Samuel F. Vinton||Whig||OH||1847||1849|
|24||Thomas H. Bayly||Democratic||VA||1849||1851|
|25||George S. Houston||Democratic||AL||1851||1855|
|26||Lewis D. Campbell||Republican||OH||1856||1857|
|27||J. Glancy Jones||Democratic||PA||1857||1858|
|28||John S. Phelps||Democratic||MO||1858||1859|
|32||Robert C. Schenck||Republican||OH||1867||1871|
|34||Henry L. Dawes||Republican||MA||1871||1875|
|35||William R. Morrison||Democratic||IL||1875||1877|
|37||John R. Tucker||Democratic||VA||1881||1881|
|38||William D. Kelley||Republican||PA||1881||1883|
|39||William R. Morrison||Democratic||IL||1883||1887|
|40||Roger Q. Mills||Democratic||TX||1887||1889|
|42||William M. Springer||Democratic||IL||1891||1893|
|43||William L. Wilson||Democratic||WV||1893||1895|
|44||Nelson Dingley, Jr.||Republican||ME||1895||1899|
|45||Sereno E. Payne||Republican||NY||1899||1911|
|46||Oscar W. Underwood||Democratic||AL||1911||1915|
|49||William R. Green||Republican||IA||1923||1928|
|50||Willis C. Hawley||Republican||OR||1928||1931|
|51||James W. Collier||Democratic||MS||1931||1933|
|52||Robert L. Doughton||Democratic||NC||1933||1947|
|54||Robert L. Doughton||Democratic||NC||1949||1953|
|55||Daniel A. Reed||Republican||NY||1953||1955|
|Al Ullman (acting)||Democratic||OR||1973||1975|
|Sam Gibbons (acting)||Democratic||FL||1994||1995|
|Pete Stark (acting)||Democratic||CA||2010||2010|
|63||Sander Levin (acting)||Democratic||MI||2010||2011|
A Better Way is a conservative agenda for U.S. governance, crafted by former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan as well as Kevin Brady, former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Ryan calls the six-point plan "a complete alternative to the Left's agenda". Shortly after the 2016 United States elections, Speaker Ryan said that the plan, described by Reuters as an "aggressive Republican legislative agenda", provides a blueprint for laws he expects to spearhead in the Republican congress in cooperation with the Republican Trump administration. For someone other than the party's nominee to direct the party's agenda in a presidential election year has been termed "a rare move".Act 22 of 2012
Act 22 of 2012 —also known as the Act to Promote the Relocation of Investors to Puerto Rico (Spanish: Ley para Incentivar el Traslado de Inversionistas a Puerto Rico)— is an act enacted by the 16th Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico that fully exempts local taxes on all passive income generated by individuals that reside in Puerto Rico.The act was enacted to promote the immigration of high-net-worth individuals to the island in hope of such individuals investing in the local economy. To ignite the interest of these new investors Act 22 provides a total exemption from Puerto Rico income taxes on all passive income attained or accrued after the individual establishes residency.The act, however, has come under scrutiny by some detractors, such as Jeffrey Farrow, a former White House official from the Clinton administration, and John Buckley, a former tax counsel for the Democratic Party on the United States House Committee on Ways and Means, who have described the act as a way to make Puerto Rico a tax haven. Congressmen Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Max Baucus (D-Montana), Chairman of the United States Senate Finance Committee, have also expressed their opinion on the matter. Others, however, such as José Pérez Riera and Alberto Bacó Bagué, both former Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce of Puerto Rico, and current Secretary Manuel A. Laboy Rivera , see the act favorably and describe it as being a way for Puerto Rico to overcome its economic struggles and its six years long recession.As of March 2013 only about a dozen individuals have taken advantage of the act, although many others have expressed their interest after the media reported that billionaire John Paulson was considering to relocate to Puerto Rico. The report was later denied by Paulson but media coverage increased inquiries to local accountancy firms by 400% after the story broke.Act 22 is one of a set of economic incentives that the Government of Puerto Rico has developed for the development of the Island's economy. Additional incentives offer unique benefits to investors for sectors like manufacturing, hospitality and tourism, international insurance and banking, export services, and agriculture.Requirements
0% tax on: Dividend and Interest Income, short-and-Long Term Capital Gains for New Puerto Rico Residents, and on Federal Taxes on Puerto Rico Sourced Income.
Tax Savings on investment portfolio returns.
Tax Decree valid until 2036.Carried interest
Carried interest, or carry, in finance, is a share of the profits of an investment paid to the investment manager in excess of the amount that the manager contributes to the partnership, specifically in alternative investments (private equity and hedge funds). It is a performance fee, rewarding the manager for enhancing performance.The manager's carried-interest allocation varies depending on the type of investment fund and the demand for the fund from investors. In private equity, the standard carried-interest allocation historically has been 20% for funds making buyout and venture investments. Notable examples of private equity firms with carried interest of 25% to 30% include Bain Capital and Providence Equity Partners.
In private equity, the distribution of carried interest is directed by a distribution waterfall: to receive carried interest, the manager must first return all capital contributed by the investors and, in certain cases, a previously agreed-upon rate of return (the "hurdle rate" or "preferred return") to investors. Private equity funds distribute carried interest to the manager only upon a successful exit from an investment, which may take years. The customary hurdle rate in private equity is 7–8% per annum.In a hedge fund environment, carried interest is usually referred to as a "performance fee" and because it invests in liquid investments, it is often able to pay carried interest annually if the fund has generated a profit. They have historically centered on 20%, but have had greater variability than those of private equity funds. In extreme cases performance fees reach as high as 44% of a fund's profits but is usually between 15% and 20%.Cecil R. King
Cecil Rhodes King (January 13, 1898 – March 17, 1974) was an American businessman and politician. King, a Democrat, served as the first member of the United States House of Representatives from California's 17th congressional district for fourteen terms, serving from August 1942 to January 1969. King was first elected by special election on August 25, 1942 after previously serving out the term of Lee E. Geyer who had died in Washington, D.C. on October 11, 1941.Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act
The Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act (FSIA) is the name of a piece of legislation that has been introduced in both the House and the Senate since 2003. The legislation would amend the 1986 Internal Revenue Code by classifying fire sprinkler retrofits as either a Section 179 depreciation deduction or a fifteen-year property for purposes of depreciation. Currently the tax depreciation time for commercial property is 39 years and 27.5 for residential.The FSIA would allow for a more rapid recovery of cost, and would reduce the annual economic and human losses that fire in the U.S. inflicts on the national economy, environment, and quality of life. Passage of the FSIA would be consistent with past practice at the federal level, where Congress has historically provided incentives and left decisions regarding adoption of fire protection requirements up to state and local government.James Collier
James William Collier (September 28, 1872 – September 28, 1933) was a politician from the U.S. state of Mississippi.
Born on the Glenwood Plantation near Vicksburg in 1872, he graduated from the University of Mississippi at Oxford in 1894 with a degree in law. Later that year, he was admitted to the Bar association and commenced practice in Vicksburg.
Collier's political career began in 1896, when he was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives. He remained in that position until 1899. From 1900 to 1909, he served as Warren County's circuit clerk.
Running successfully as the Democratic Party candidate in the state's eighth congressional district, he took office on March 4, 1909 and went on to serve in eleven congresses (61st-72nd).
Collier chaired the United States House Committee on Ways and Means during the 72nd Congress (1930–1932). He decided not to run for a twelfth term due to controversy over whether candidates should run at-large or by districts.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him to the United States Tariff Commission. He served in that position from March 28, 1933 until his death on September 28, 1933, his 61st birthday.
He is buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Vicksburg.Jason Kearns
Jason Kearns is an American lawyer and government official. Currently serving as chief international trade counsel to the United States House Committee on Ways and Means, he has been nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as a Commissioner of the United States International Trade Commission. Kearns previously served in the Office of the General Counsel to the U.S. Trade Representative and worked in the international trade group of the law firm WilmerHale.Kearns was originally nominated to serve on the United States International Trade Commission by outgoing President Barack Obama in January 2017. After President Obama left office, Kearns' nomination was withdrawn and then resubmitted by President Trump.Jerome Kurtz
Jerome Kurtz (May 19, 1931 – February 27, 2015) was an American tax lawyer who served as the Commissioner of Internal Revenue from 1977 to 1980 during the Carter administration. He left the IRS in 1980 to return to private practice.Kurtz was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 19, 1931. He received a bachelor's degree in accounting from Temple University in 1952 and his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1955. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served for two years. He married his wife, artist Elaine Etta Kahn, in 1952.During the Johnson administration, Kurtz was employed as a tax legislative counsel for the United States Department of Treasury from 1966 to 1968. He was a vocal opponent of policies which favored higher income taxpayers during his tenure at the Treasury Department. Kurtz also did preliminary work on the Tax Reform Act of 1969, which created an alternative minimum tax aimed at wealthier taxpayers who took extensive tax deductions.Kurtz returned to private practice after leaving the Treasury Department. He was a partner at Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen, a firm in Philadelphia, prior to his appointment as head of the IRS in 1977.Jerome Kurtz was appointed Commissioner of Internal Revenue by President Jimmy Carter in 1977. Kurtz sought to reverse tax policies that were seen as excessively beneficial to wealthier tax payers. For example, he targeted so-called "silver butterfly" commodities transactions, in which investors in silver staggered their losses and profits to lower their taxes on the sales. Under Kurtz, the IRS launched a crackdown on the abuse on tax shelters by both corporations and individuals. Kurtz also moved to tax "fringe benefits," such as the use of company cars by employees, but those plans were quashed by the United States House Committee on Ways and Means.Kurtz stepped down as Commissioner of the IRS in 1980. He returned to private practice at the Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison firm in Washington D.C. He also lectured on tax law and taxation at both the University of Pennsylvania and Villanova University and served as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School.Jerome Kurtz died from complications of surgery in New York City on February 27, 2015, at the age of 83. He was survived by his two daughters, Maddie Kurtz and Nettie Kurtz Greenstein. His late wife, Elaine Kahn Kurtz, whom he had been married to for 47 years, died in 2003.Joseph Clay
Joseph Clay (July 24, 1769 – August 27, 1811) was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.
Joseph Clay was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Congresses, and served until his resignation after March 28, 1808. He was also engaged in banking. Clay served as chairman of the United States House Committee on Ways and Means during the Ninth Congress. He was one of the managers appointed by the House of Representatives in 1804 to conduct the impeachment proceedings against John Pickering, judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire.
He became cashier of the Farmers & Mechanics’ Bank of Philadelphia, and died in Philadelphia in 1811. Interment in Christ Church Burying Ground.
He was the father of diplomat John Randolph Clay, and the grandfather of brevet brigadier general Cecil Clay.Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013
The Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013 (H.R. 3350) is a bill that would permit insurance companies forced to cancel existing insurance plans that do not meet Affordable Care Act rules to continue offering those plans during 2014. The bill is intended to "make good on President Obama's promise that 'if you like your health plan, you can keep it.'"It was introduced into the United States House of Representatives during the 113th United States Congress.Leslie W. Bowman
Leslie W. Bowman (born 1949) is an American painter and illustrator, known especially for her portraits.
A native of New York City, Bowman was raised in Westport, Connecticut and studied illustration and photography at the Rhode Island School of Design, from which she graduated with a BFA in 1971. Early in the 1970s she moved to Minnesota, where she continues to live and teach. In 1987 she illustrated The House in the Snow by M. J. Engh, which became her first work to be published; other books for which she provided illustrations include The Night the Bells Rang by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock and Night of the Full Moon by Gloria Whelan. Later in her career she turned to portraiture as her preferred medium.Bowman has most notably depicted six members of the United States House of Representatives during her career, providing their official portraits in various roles for display in the United States Capitol. These include Collin Peterson, as chairman of the United States House Committee on Agriculture; Dave Camp, as chairman of the United States House Committee on Ways and Means; Jim Oberstar, as chairman of the United States House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; Sam Graves, as chairman of the United States House Committee on Small Business; Spencer Bachus, as chairman of the United States House Committee on Financial Services; and Paul Ryan, as chairman of the United States House Committee on the Budget. Other institutions which own examples of her work include the Minnesota Supreme Court, for which she has painted Rosalie Wahl, and the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions; she has also depicted Minnesota Supreme Court justice Russell A. Anderson.Michael B. Thornton
Michael B. Thornton (born February 9, 1954) is the former Chief Judge of the United States Tax Court.Neil Chatterjee
Neil Chatterjee is an American lawyer, political advisor, and government official who is currently serving as Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Prior to assuming his current role, he served as a member of the Commission.
Chatterjee previously served as energy policy advisor to United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.Chatterjee also worked for the United States House Committee on Ways and Means, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce.Chatterjee was confirmed by the United States Senate as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on August 3, 2017. On August 10, 2017, President Donald Trump designated Chatterjee as chairman of FERC. On December 7, 2017, Kevin J. McIntyre succeeded Chatterjee as the chairman of FERC. On October 24, 2018, President Donald Trump again designated Chatterjee as Chairman of the Commission.Preserving Welfare for Needs Not Weed Act
The Preserving Welfare for Needs Not Weed Act (H.R. 4137) is a bill that would prevent the use of electronic benefit transfer cards in businesses that sell marijuana.The bill was introduced into the United States House of Representatives during the 113th United States Congress.Reduce America's Debt Now Act of 2011
Reduce America's Debt Now Act of 2011 is a proposed act that will require employers to make non-deductible deductions from employees for the US Treasury to be used to feed the United States public debt. The bill was introduced on July 7, 2011 by Rick Crawford to the United States House of Representatives and referred to the United States House Committee on Ways and Means. The bill currently has 11 cosponsors.Sandra Casber Wise
Sandra Casber Wise is the wife of former Governor of West Virginia Bob Wise of West Virginia and served as that state's First Lady from 2001-2005. She was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 3, 1946. She earned a degree in political science from Macalester College and a law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. While working as a subcommittee lawyer with the United States House Committee on Ways and Means in the early 1980s, she met her future husband, Bob Wise. They married on July 28, 1984. While first lady, she traveled around the state to promote child literacy and to combat underage drinking.Tom Rice
Hugh Thompson Rice Jr. (born August 4, 1957) is the U.S. Representative for South Carolina's 7th congressional district. Elected to the 113th Congress in November 2012, he is a conservative Republican, supports the right to life movement and thinks the U.S. government has strayed from tenets of the Constitution. He was a member of the freshman class chosen to sit at the House Republican leadership table. Rice was chair of the Horry County Council until he resigned from the position on December 31.Rice won re-election in 2014. He defeated Democratic challenger Gloria Bromell Tinubu on November 4, 2014. He also defeated Bromell Tinubu in the general election on November 6, 2012.Ways and Means (disambiguation)
Ways and Means is a Committee of Ways and Means of the UK parliament.
Ways and Means may also refer to:
United States House Committee on Ways and MeansWilliam J. Coyne
William Joseph Coyne (August 24, 1936 – November 3, 2013) was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.
Coyne was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1954, and received a B.S. in accounting from Robert Morris College. He served for two years in the United States Army before setting up a private accounting firm. From 1970 to 1972 he was member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and a member of the Pittsburgh City Council from 1974 to 1980.
Coyne was elected to Congress in 1980, succeeding 24-year incumbent William S. Moorhead in a district taking in most of Pittsburgh. He was reelected ten times, never facing serious opposition. He was a longtime member of the United States House Committee on Ways and Means
In 2002, Coyne's district was combined with the district of Mike Doyle, a somewhat more moderate Democrat. Although the new district contained more of Coyne's territory than Doyle's, Coyne retired to avoid the possibility of two Democratic incumbents facing each other in the primary elections.
Coyne died at the age of 77 on November 3, 2013, two months after falling and sustaining head injuries.