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Chairman Brady Opening Statement at Hearing on How Tax Reform Will Grow Our Economy and Create Jobs

May 18, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) today delivered the following opening statement at a Committee hearing entitled “How Tax Reform Will Grow Our Economy and Create Jobs.”

CLICK HERE to watch the hearing live.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Good morning and thank you all for joining us. Today, our Committee is focused on a top priority for the American people – pro-growth tax reform that will create jobs, increase paychecks, and strengthen our nation’s economy. 

“America now has one of the most costly, unfair, and uncompetitive tax systems in the world. The need for pro-growth tax reform is urgent. 

“Today’s high tax rates on American businesses drive good-paying jobs overseas and make it more difficult for our job creators and workers to succeed here at home.

“America’s burdensome international tax system destroys U.S. competitiveness and discourages investment in our communities. 

“Scores of loopholes give favored treatment to Washington special interests while millions of hardworking Americans haven’t seen a real pay raise in years.

“Here’s the good news – President Trump is leading the charge for bold tax reform that will unleash the growth of jobs and paychecks nationwide. And, he’s calling on the House and Senate to put forward our best ideas.  

“Our Committee is ready to answer the call.

“Over the past several years, we’ve held roughly 40 full committee and subcommittee hearings on all aspects of tax reform. All of our members – no matter what side of the dais you sit on – know that tax reform is an economic imperative. Now is the time to go bold and deliver real results for the American people. We welcome all serious solutions that will help achieve that goal.  

“While there is no perfect way to tax, there are proven solutions to grow our economy and improve the lives of all Americans. 

“Let’s take a look at the numbers. 

“Currently, we have the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world at 35%. For small businesses, the rates can be as high as 44.6%. 

“To unleash job creation and increase paychecks, we know these rates must come down. Washington must take less from America’s job creators so they can invest more in their businesses, their workers, and their futures.

“In addition to lowering rates, we also know that bold policies such as full and immediate expensing are incredibly pro-growth for jobs, paychecks, and our economy as a whole.  

“According to estimates from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, this provision alone would grow our economy by more than 5% over the next decade, create 1 million full-time jobs, and raise wages significantly. 

“Finally, the numbers show us that businesses of all sizes are eager for tax reform. They’re ready for the opportunity to innovate, grow, and hire new workers. 

“Recently, the Business Roundtable surveyed a group of more than 120 CEOs about tax reform. Eighty-two percent of them said tax reform will prompt companies to increase business investment, and 76% said they will increase hiring.

“These CEO responses make clear that tax reform will create jobs, increase paychecks, and grow our economy. But, make no mistake – there are also consequences if we fail to act.

“Ninety percent of the CEOs said that delaying tax reform will harm the U.S. economy by causing slower growth, slower hiring, and slower capital investment. 

“And more than that, we will force all Americans to continue to live with a tax code that works against them, not with them.  

“Take it from Roger and Natalie Goertz, constituents of mine who own and operate a ‘Mr. Rooter’ plumbing franchise in Montgomery County.

“Roger said: ‘As a small business owner, I’m scared to death each year on how much I’m going to have to pay into the government.’ 

“That uncertainty is devastating. Roger says, ‘It’s kind of like trying to operate your business with one hand tied behind your back. Sometimes you feel like both hands are tied behind your back.’ 

“In today’s hearing, we’ll hear from more business leaders about exactly what “is needed to get jobs, paychecks, and our economy moving again.  

“Our witnesses are top-level executives from American companies of all sizes. Their expertise will help us understand how different proposals will impact America’s job creators, workers, and families.  

“Since releasing our Blueprint for tax reform last June, we’ve received thousands of comments from businesses and thought leaders – feedback we take very seriously. We look forward to the expert guidance our witnesses will provide today. Thank you all for being here.

“Again, there is no perfect way to tax, but there are proven ways to grow our economy. And with today’s hearing, we will take a critical step toward putting those ideas into action for the American people. 

“With that, I’ll now recognize Ranking Member Neal for his opening statement.”