President George W. Bush has named two former senators to lead a new nine-member bipartisan panel charged with arriving at options to reform the tax code.

The president named former senators Connie Mack III, now a senior advisor at Shaw Pittman LLP, as chairman, and John Breaux as vice chairman of his Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform. Senator Mack served as chairman of the Joint Economic Committee and was a member of the Finance and Banking committees. Senator Breaux served on the Finance Committee and the Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight.

According to the executive order signed by the president in early January, the panel is charged with arriving at options to reform the tax code to make it "simpler, fairer and more pro-growth." The executive order specifies that the options that the panel arrives at should "simplify federal tax laws to reduce the costs and administrative burdens of compliance with such laws; share the burdens and benefits of the federal tax structure in an appropriately progressive manner while recognizing the importance of home ownership and charity in American society; and promote long-run economic growth and job creation, and better encourage work effort, saving and investment, so as to strengthen the competitiveness of the United States in the global marketplace."

The seven other panel members are: William Eldridge Frenzel, former member of the House of Representatives and a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution; Elizabeth Garrett, professor of law at the University of Southern California; Edward P. Lazear, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business; Timothy J. Muris, foundation professor at George Mason School of Law; James Michael Poterba, associate department head at MIT's Department of Economics; Charles O. Rossotti, senior advisor at the Carlyle Group and former commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service; and Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab.

"I told the members - the former senators and members of this committee - that I am firm in my desire to get something done," said President Bush. "We're going to take their work, and we'll go to the Congress and say let's work together to achieve something very constructive for the American people."

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