However, given the number of tax extenders set to once again expire at the end of the year, most lawmakers said that the focus would first be on getting those passed so there could be some stability and certainty while Congress hashed out a more comprehensive tax reform plan.
"The U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world," Representative Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) reminded the audience. Schock stressed that the elevated rate makes it increasingly difficult for companies to do business in the U.S., a factor that is weighing heavily on the economic recovery.
"Only in D.C. do people believe if we raise your taxes, your behavior doesn't change," Schock said.
Schock pointed to growing number of U.S. companies that have either moved or considered moving their company headquarters overseas as evidence of a broken tax policy.
"Pfizer, Walgreens, Burger King-that should be a clarion call if ever," Schock said.
Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) also said he believed corporate tax reform was a huge issue. "Our tax policy is pushing a lot of jobs overseas and inviting a lot of foreign companies in to take over our companies," he said. "These corporate inversions-some people call them economic deserters, but I call them economic refugees."
Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) agreed with many of Schock's remarks, saying the nation would be "hard pressed" to create a tax code that is more complex, more difficult to comply with, more expensive and more limiting than what's currently in place.
"There has to be a revenue component to our national debt crisis," he said. "Raising taxes isn't the only answer. We've also got to grow our economy. The way we do that is to fix the tax code."
"This is not a game of pick up sticks, where you try to remove a piece from a jumbled mess and not make the whole pile collapse," Crapo added. "The right way to build a code is to clear the table and build it in an organized way."
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