ITR Global Tax 50 2022: Richard Neal
Chair of the House Ways & Means Committee
Richard Neal, US representative from Massachusetts, has been a key ally for President Joe Biden in Congress and supported the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022. However, his role has inevitably been sucked into the drama of US party politics.
The Ways & Means Committee, alongside the Senate Finance Committee, is an important lever for any president to pull in Congress. Neal has used his role as chair of the Ways & Means Committee to shore up support for tax reform and raise scrutiny of former President Donald Trump.
Neal took over from Kevin Brady in January 2019. Brady presided over some of the work on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), whereas Neal backed the Biden administration’s efforts to build on the TCJA and increase the minimum corporate tax rate of 10.5% to 15%.
Following the controversy over the release of Trump’s tax returns, Neal supported the replacement of Charles Rettig as commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. This was perceived by some observers as a move to replace Rettig for not releasing Trump’s tax returns.
The Ways & Means Committee may have secured the release of the former president’s returns, though its more substantial achievement was supporting the Inflation Reduction Act. Neal may have lost influence due to the November 2022 mid-term elections, but tax reform could be his legacy.