Politicians—including some Republicans—appear more willing to change carried interest. But Washington watchers say it will likely be tied in with a broader tax reform debate.
"When we do tax reform, I don't see how it's kept out of the conversation—that train has left the station," said Alex Vogel, co-founder of VogelHood Research, a political intelligence firm that works with financial services companies.
While the change has long been recommended by President Barack Obama and Democrats, then-Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., included a change to carried interest in a tax plan last year when he was chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
Indeed, other Republicans may concede the point, but they want to use it as a bargaining tool, according to experts.
"There may be a willingness to give in on carried, but only if they get something for it," Andy Lewin, a principal at lobbying firm Podesta Group.
But tax reform is a rare event in Washington and many think it's unlikely to get done before 2017.
"It's hard to see tax reform getting done before the elections—there are just too many thorny issues," Lewin said.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., now runs Ways and Means. He hasn't given a position on carried interest; when asked, a committee spokesman said this: "Our focus is going to be comprehensive tax reform that will help to create a healthier economy."
The spokesman, Doug Andres, added that "some type" of reform remains the goal this year, but that will be determined on finding "common ground" with the Obama administration.
In the Senate, Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, announced in January that his committee would study taxes in hopes of reform before the election.
A spokesman for the committee declined to comment on Hatch's carried interest views but said the subject would be among those studied by bipartisan working groups.
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