I rise today in support of H.R. 6169, the Pathway to Job Creation through a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act.
Yesterday, House Republicans – joined by 19 House Democrats – voted to extend the current tax policies through the end of next year. That was an important, responsible step to provide Congress the time to pass and enact comprehensive tax reform without risking further damage to a fragile economy.
The failure to stop the tax hike that is looming at the end of the year could push us over a jobs cliff. I know many Democrats want to raise taxes, but an independent study by Ernst & Young shows the Democrat tax hike would eliminate over 700,000 U.S. jobs. We cannot afford to lose more jobs, and that is why we voted to extend current policy.
Instead of raising taxes on small businesses and making it harder to create jobs, as the Democrat plan did, Republicans are focused on creating jobs, reforming the tax code to make it simpler and fairer for all Americans, and strengthening our economy. The bill before us today provides a pathway to that goal.
This bill forces Congress to do its job – something I think all Americans will support. It provides a specific timeline for the House and the Senate to act next year on a comprehensive tax reform bill. It also ensures an open process. A bill is introduced and then the appropriate committees may amend it. Democrats and Republicans alike will have an opportunity to debate and offer changes.
And, this bill tells the American people exactly where we want the debate to start. We say that tax reform should:
- Eliminate special interest loopholes to reduce rates for families and employers – reducing the current six tax brackets down to just two (10 and 25 percent);
- Help America be competitive in the global economy by setting a corporate rate of 25 percent and updating a 50-year-old international tax code to a modern and more competitive territorial system; and
- Get rid of the alternative minimum tax that is currently looming over 31 million middle-class families.
We also don’t think we should ask taxpayers to bail out Washington’s wasteful spending. Tax reform should not result in the federal government taking more out of the economy and more out of taxpayer pockets than the tax system historically has. Tax reform is not about making the government bigger, it is about creating jobs. That is why this bill says federal tax revenues should remain within historic norms of 18-19 percent of gross domestic product.
Independent economists have noted that, when paired with appropriate government spending cuts, comprehensive tax reform that includes these policies could lead to the creation of 1 million American jobs in the first year alone.
Compare that to the plan Democrats offered yesterday – a tax hike that would eliminate more than 700,000 American jobs. The choice could not be clearer. Do we want – and does America need – Democrat tax hikes that destroy jobs? Or do we want – and does America need – Republican backed tax reform that creates a simpler, fairer tax code and 1 million jobs in the first year alone?
Today, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have one more opportunity to stand with families and job creators by joining House Republicans to demonstrate their commitment to passing and enacting comprehensive tax reform next year. We can and should work together to revive our economy and get the unemployed back to work.