Tax Reform Lawmaker Dave Camp Won’t Seek Re-Election

But that doesn't mean limits to ad deduction is dead

Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House ways and means committee and the lawmaker pushing tax reform, won't seek re-election, putting one of the most powerful positions in Congress in play.

His exit could also have significant implications for tax reform and for the provision that would limit the advertising deduction, probably the most important issue on the Hill impacting the advertising and media businesses.

But Camp's exit from Congress may not mean that the advertising and media lobby can rest easy. If Camp didn't have anything to lose before because he was term limited as chairman, he really has nothing to lose now.

"He doesn't have to collect money, he doesn't have to run around in the district. This allows him to focus. So this could accelerate rather than decelerate his efforts," said Dan Jaffe, evp of the Association of National Advertisers.

Camp said as much in his statement announcing his decision to exit Congress.

"During the next nine months, I will redouble my efforts to grow our economy and expand opportunity for every American by fixing our broken tax code, permanently solving physician payments for seniors, strengthening the social safety net and finding new markets for U.S. goods and services," Camp said.

Though tax reform is viewed by many as an uphill climb this year, Camp's likely successors, including Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), chairman of the budget committee may be just as enthusiastic about moving tax reform forward. In prior statements, Ryan has indicated that tax reform is next on his list after the budget and that it should be a GOP priority.

Camp's news caps off two big changes in finance and budget. Earlier this year, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) succeeded Max Baucus as chairman of the finance committee, which is also eyeing tax reform and limits to the ad tax deduction.

"We're still treating this as a full, serious threat," Jaffe said. "Until someone tells you it's no longer in the package, we'll keep operating as if under full threat."