Name: Jay Khosla
Position: Staff director for Senate Finance Committee
Hometown: Fairfax, Va.
Alma Mater: Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Richmond School of Law
Washington Examiner: What is your primary duty as staff director on the committee?
Khosla: My job is to ensure that all the trains are running on time. I think a little bit more than 50 percent of the entire federal budget goes through our committee's jurisdiction.
There are very few pieces of legislation that don't touch our committee. Bottom line, at the end of the day, my job is the same as everybody else's job on the committee. It is to make sure that the agenda is being done.
Washington Examiner: What role will the committee play on tax reform?
Khosla: Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and the committee members will be the tip of the spear. We have had 70-plus hearings on tax reform over the past few years.
The chairman has been pretty clear that he wants tax reform to go through regular order. There will be a committee markup, there will be amendments, people will view the bill and a Joint Committee on Taxation score.
It is a pretty monumental undertaking on the committee staff, and that is what we are getting prepared for. Our members are genuinely excited about taking on this once in a lifetime opportunity.
The good thing is that it is such a team effort on tax reform. That is a point that the chairman keeps making. We hope the Democrats join us. If that doesn't end up being the case on the committee, then all 14 members on our side of the aisle have to be together on tax reform.
Washington Examiner: What do you think will be in store for the committee markup on a tax reform bill?
Khosla: The actual logistics of a markup of this magnitude, the only thing I can compare it to is the Affordable Care Act markup in the Finance Committee in 2009.
It is a pretty massive undertaking, but it makes us feel a lot more at ease since Chairman Hatch has done a few of these during his time here.
Washington Examiner: How did you get into government?
Khosla: It was a lot of happenstance. I applied for a fellowship, got that fellowship, and in 2005, I started as a fellow in Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's office.
They gave me two topics that nobody wanted in the office. They were, I still remember, small business health plans and medical malpractice reform.
As luck would have it, that entire Congress, the only two health bills that came to the floor were those two bills. It was a great experience. I stayed on until he retired.
After that, I worked for [former New Hampshire Republican Sen.] Judd Gregg at the Senate Budget Committee. I was then asked to join the McCain/Palin campaign in 2008 as their health policy director.
Washington Examiner: What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have two kids, ages 3 and 6, so that means I am a glorified chauffeur on the weekends between soccer games and birthday parties. When I have time to myself, I am into running.