House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp on Wednesday declined to say whether his committee will ever translate the massive tax-reform plan he unveiled last week into actual legislation.
"I think it's very difficult to predict the process from here going forward," Camp told reporters at a breakfast hosted by The Christian Science Monitor.
Camp is likely serving his last nine months as head of the tax-code-writing committee because of House GOP term-limit rules regarding chairmanships and ranking-member positions. Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is his likely successor, although Rep. Kevin Brady has also indicated interest.
Even so, Camp talked to reporters on Wednesday about what he said looms as plenty of "opportunity" through the end of the year. "We have a long time left. I think nine months is a long time to coast," he said. "A lot of things can happen quickly around here. I've seen it before."
When pressed about what he meant — would there be an actual committee markup of his bill? — Camp would not commit to that happening. Rather, he said what's going on now are efforts at getting and gauging reaction and analysis about the proposals, "and really making sure that I and others understand the impact that the proposals may have."
Was it a mistake, then, to term-limit chairmanships?
Camp paused and smiled as if amused the question would even need to be asked, and answered: "Yes, I think so."