Washington, DC — Today, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following statement on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on the “Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015.”
“After months of negotiations, I’m honored today to talk to Americans about the ‘Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes’ bill – also known as the PATH act.
“The most important thing for the American people to know is that this bill prevents their taxes from increasing, helps create more jobs in their communities, and makes it easier for them to do their taxes. It also reins in the IRS and protects taxpayers from waste and fraud within the large tax credit programs administered by the IRS.
“And now I’d like to take a moment to talk about the 6 specific ways this bill helps America’s taxpayers.
“First, it provides $629 billion of tax relief that families and businesses can rely on. It’s financially responsible because preventing a tax increase is never a cost. Republicans have always worked to stop Washington from taking more money from the hard working Americans who earned it. This is not Washington’s money – it’s the taxpayers. And we shouldn’t have to raise taxes on some people to prevent taxes on other people from going up.
“Secondly, by making a number of temporary tax provisions permanent, it will deliver predictability, clarity and certainty for individual taxpayers as well as people managing businesses and trying to invest for the future.
“And as we know all too well, how our country manages its tax code makes absolutely no sense. How can families and local businesses count on tax relief each year as long as Congress can’t decide what’s permanent and what’s not?
“That confusion ends with this bill.
“With this bill in place, Americans will no longer have to worry each December if Congress will take action to extend certain tax relief measures that they have come to rely on – including:
“Allowing state sales tax deductions for families;
“Providing small business tax relief; and
“Offering incentives, true incentives, for innovation, including the research and development tax credit.
“Third, it’s a pro-growth bill. This permanent tax relief will make it easier for employers to plan ahead, hire new workers, grow their businesses and invest in the communities.
“Fourth, Americans who are frustrated by Washington waste will be pleased to know that our bill contains strong measures to fight fraud and abuse in these tax credit programs. While these provisions are significant, they are only a down payment on Republican efforts to make those tax credit programs – which are far too prone to error and abuse today – more accountable.
“Fifth, our bill reins in the IRS and protects taxpayers. It delivers the power to:
“Fire IRS employees who take politically motivated actions against taxpayers;
“Require IRS employees to respect the taxpayer bill of rights; and
“Prohibit IRS employees from using personal email accounts for official business.
“After witnessing years of abuse at the IRS, we can all agree that these provisions are important taxpayer victories.
“And finally, this bill serves as a path forward to pro-growth tax reform by ensuring that we will no longer have to spend months each year debating temporary tax extensions. Instead, Congress can focus on delivering a simpler, fairer and flatter tax code that’s built for growth.
“I’m proud of this legislation and grateful for all of the members who have helped throughout the course of the negotiations. This bill includes literally dozens of provisions drawn from bills marked up by the Ways and Means Committee this past year. That’s a reflection of the regular order than I am committed to extending and expanding next year as the Committee digs in on tax reform and other critical measures.
“There’s a lot in this, but those are the key principles. The bottom line is this legislation prevents tax increases, creates more job opportunities, and makes it easier for Americans to do their taxes. That’s a great gift, an overdue gift, for American taxpayers and people who want and deserve a stronger U.S. economy.”