Meg Whitman heads to Capitol Hill to talk tax reform
Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman met with leaders on Capitol Hill on Thursday to discuss tax reform, according to multiple congressional aides.
Whitman met with Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means committee, and one of the most pivotal players in tax reform on the Hill.
A spokesperson for Brady confirmed that Whitman, who was spotted by reporters traversing the Capitol’s hallways, had discussed tax reform with the lawmaker.
The topic was one of several that Whitman also addressed during a meeting with the Problem Solvers Caucus, according to an aide to co-chair Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.).
“Problem Solvers Caucus is committed to making good tax policy for job creators,” Reed said in a statement to The Hill. “We want and need input from experienced business leaders like Meg Whitman.”
The Reed aide explained that there was “an expectation from business that good policy will be created” and the meeting with Whitman “was a great way to launch into it.”
“She’s very solution oriented, which is why we wanted to talk to her,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), the caucus’ co-chair.
“She wants to communicates to the caucus. That was her broader message, which is what we need right now at a time when there is gridlock and people not talking to each to each other.”
The technology industry has paid close attention to efforts on Capitol Hill.
Companies such as Verizon, Google and Apple have all expressed a deep interest in the fate of tax reform, which many expect to be the on-deck issue in Congress after the GOP’s defeat on healthcare last month.
Gottheimer said that Whitman brought up the border adjustment tax during their meeting, which would tax imports and exempt exports. The Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO has railed against the tax, which GOP leaders have advocated.
“The border adjustment tax is not good for companies that have a relatively low margin with a supply chain that is outside the United States,” Whitman argued on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in February.
“Everything that is in our products comes from overseas. And by the way, that supply chain has taken 30 years to set up. So when all those components come in and are taxed, it’s not going to be good.”
Gottheimer has expressed an interest in lowering taxes across the board and has adopted the position – traditionally advocated by Republicans – of lowering taxes to spur economic growth.
“I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work bringing people together on important issues like lowering taxes and improving our infrastructure,” he said in a statement on his election as co-chair in February.
He also touted his openness to working with the Trump administration and GOP leaders to “simplify the tax code, lower our taxes and cut unnecessary and out-of-date regulations.”
A Reed spokesperson said that the Problem Solver’s Caucus has not formally developed a position on tax reform issues, but said that they had created a voting bloc to vote uniformly on future policies.