Dave Camp mulls senate run

Michigan’s 4th district representative, Republican Dave Camp, has lent a strong voice in leading the Congressional crusade for a comprehensive tax code overhaul. As Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, Camp introduced his own plan: applying revenues from eliminated tax breaks and loopholes to reduce tax rates for both businesses and individuals.

“We’ll use the revenue from loophole-closing to bring down the tax rates,” Camp said in an interview. “That’s what my model does. It’s not to be used for public works projects. It’s about closing loopholes to bring down (tax) rates, to have a flatter, fairer, more efficient tax code.”

Conservatives praised Camp’s plan for a simplified tax code. (Camp even toured America this summer with Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana to sell his plan.) Many speculators are concerned, however, that a possible Camp senate run may distract him from the tax code task at hand.

From the Detroit Free Press:

Camp’s office confirmed Wednesday that he was considering running for the seat held by U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, a Democrat who announced in March he would not run for re-election next year. Levin has held the seat since 1979.

Camp told Politico, a Washington-based political publication, on Tuesday that he was “looking at” the race and had already spoken to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., about a possible run.

“It’s a big decision, and I’m going to look at it very carefully and thoughtfully,” Camp told Politico, adding that he had no time line for getting into the race. His office did not offer any additional comments on Wednesday.

Ken Kies, a tax lobbyist and former chief tax counsel to the Ways and Means Committee during the last major overhaul of the tax code, told the National Journal that Camp could “probably wait until December to make that decision [to run].”

Camp’s decision to seek a senate seat or not, according to Kies, would indicate the life or death of tax reform: “Clearly,” Kies said, “[Camp] can’t make that decision until he’s probably concluded that tax reform can’t fly.”

Nevertheless, a Camp senatorial victory would mean a great deal in Michigan. No Republican has won a U.S. Senate seat there since 1994.