The House Ways and Means Committee may wait a second week before resuming work on President Carter's controversial tax reduction and "tax reform" plan, panel sources said yesterday.
Rep. Al Ullman (D-Ore.), the committee chairman, has been sounding out members on the possibility of a further delay to allow time for House and Senate conferees to complete work on the energy bill.
He also has suggested the committee may "separate out" consideration of a rollback in Social Security taxes from its work on the main Carter package, in part to avert any further disputes that could tie up the tax bill.
Ullman met privately yesterday with Rep. Barber B. Conable (R.N.Y.), the panel's ranking minority member, in an effort to draw up a compromise that might win the support of a committee majority.
However, the two reportedly were unable to reach any initial agreement. The Ways and Means Committee is badly split over what provisions should be in the tax bill. The two leaders are expected to meet again later this week.
The developments came as, separately, the panel's subcommittee on Social Security voted to refer the payroll tax issue to the full committee, primarily to avoid a jurisdictional battle.
Subcommittee Chairman James A. Burke (D-Mass.) said he feared his panel might clash with the subcommittee on health in considering any proposal that might involve use of income tax revenues to finance Medicare insurance.
The full committee now will be asked to choose from a half-dozen separate proposals for reducing payroll taxes, most of which would involve substituting income tax receipts for payroll tax increases.
It is not clear yeat what the committee will do on the Social Security issue. The panel is under a mandate from the House Democratic Caucus to provide some payroll tax relief, but members are divided over how to go about it.
The Ways and Means Committee suspended its formal markup of Carter's tax plan last Friday in a move t give its leaders time to work out a compromise on the president's proposals. Votes last week showed the bill was in trouble.