White House reaches out to Bill Bradley, Dem veteran of last tax reform battle

February 1, 2011

By Bernie Becker -The Hill

The latest sign that tax reform is getting some attention in Washington: Former Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.) is making the rounds.

Bradley, who played a major role the last time the tax code was overhauled in 1986, is scheduled to meet on Monday with Vice President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

An administration official said the vice president’s meeting with his former Senate colleague would likely be a broad discussion about the economy — given Bradley’s history with tax reform, that conversation could reasonably be expected to touch on tax reform.

Meanwhile, a Treasury spokeswoman said the get-together between Geithner and Bradley, now a managing director of Allen & Co., would focus on tax reform and other issues.

Tax reform has emerged as a possible area of bipartisan cooperation in Congress, but officials on both sides of the aisle expect any overhaul of the tax code would come after a long, complicated process — much the way it did a quarter-century ago.

President Obama mentioned reforming both the individual and corporate tax systems during his State of the Union address last week, but it remains to be seen whether those codes would be tackled together.

For his part, Geithner has already met this year with business leaders, think tank officials and academics to discuss tax reform.

Bradley, a liberal Democrat, unsuccessfully challenged Al Gore in the 2000 Democratic presidential primary.

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