Tax Notes Today recently released their top 10 Congressional tax staff members as selected in a survey from Tax Analysts. Anne Urban and Sandra Swirski were both quoted in several profiles:
Anne Urban called Finance Committee Majority Staff senior tax and energy counsel Ryan Abraham “a pro,” saying he “defines calm, cool, and collected.”
She also said that Kara Getz, senior tax counsel for the Finance Committee Majority Staff, “is the ultimate diplomat, and she never throws up her hands and says something can’t get done. She figures out a way to get it done.
Urban noted that Finance Committee Majority chief tax counsel Todd Metcalf “is brains and humor, with a little bit of mischief thrown in.” She added that his “terrific political skills” stand out in the tax world.
Urban also praised Anna Taylor, tax and trade counsel to Senate Finance Committee Member Charles Schumer (D-NY): “Anna is a total ace. ‘Nuff said.”
Of the Republican staff, Sandra Swirski said Senate Finance Minority Staff tax counsel Jim Lyons is “refreshingly candid and wicked smart.”
Swirski also complimented Paul Poteet, the senior policy adviser and tax and trade counsel to Senate Finance Committee Member John Thune (R-SD), saying he is a real professional who wows even the most seasoned corporate tax executives with his grasp of tax issues.
She offered similar accolades to George Callas, who serves as majority staff director for the House Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee, calling him “a real one of a kind,” and adding that he “knows the substantive and appreciates the political. And [he] has a great sense of humor, too.”
Urban also lauded the work of Katherine Monge, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) tax policy adviser. “Monge knows her stuff,” Urban said. “Her star is pretty high up there and rising.”
Of Mark Prater, chief tax counsel for the Finance Committee Minority Staff, Urban said, “Mark is the ultimate professional. His institutional memory can’t be beat. Members and staff on both sides of the aisle respect him and look to him for guidance.”
Finally, Urban said that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) chief adviser for tax and economic policy Cathy Koch is “scary smart,” and added, “She has an uncanny ability to see around the corners that most people can’t [and] can frame up an issue like nobody’s business.”