In recent years, Washington has been a war zone in more ways than one. Forget homeland security--the partisan crossfire on Capitol Hill has been withering.
It has been especially fierce within the committee that’s more important to American business than any other: the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. In the last Congress, Republican Chairman Bill Thomas of Californiaand rankingDemocrat Charles Rangel of New York were barely on speaking terms.
But Democrats are now the majority, Rangel is now chairman, and he has developed a much different relationship with ranking Republican Jim McCrery of Louisiana. The garrulous black liberal from Harlem and the proper white conservative from Shreveport can do business together.
They’ve already done it on trade, working with the Bush administration to develop a framework of protections on labor and environmental policy that may push further trade expansion through the Democratic Congress. And it could happen again on the tax treatment of private equity, which the committee will examine in hearings next month.
We sat down for a rare joint interview with Rangel and McCrery yesterday. We’ll provide an insight into their thinking-- and how they might compromise--in a Political Capital segment on CNBC’s Street Signs this afternoon. Afterward, I’ll expand on the broadcast segment with additional insight.
See you then.
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