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“We want to change the culture in Washington.”

March 29, 2018

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) joined Bloomberg TV on Wednesday to discuss tax reform, trade, and IRS legislation.


On phase two of tax reform:

We want to change the culture in Washington, where we only fix this tax code once every 30 years. The truth is, our competitors – Asia, Europe, others – are continuously improving their tax codes, and frankly every business in America wakes up every day trying to figure out, ‘how are we improving our company, being more productive, being more competitive?’ We ought to have that same approach on our tax code every year looking for ways to make it better, more competitive, better for our Main Street businesses and families.

“Phase two is really about changing that culture. Looking at things we can do better, including making some of the provisions that are long-term, permanent; trying to make sure people can save more and earlier for retirement; and looking for ways to really generate more innovation in America because the country that wins that race, frankly, around the world, wins the future.”

Chairman Brady added:

“For Republicans and President Trump: we are going to spend every day looking at how we can make families stronger, businesses stronger, and America stronger.”

On upcoming IRS legislation:

“We think a new tax code deserves a new IRS. We are working with Democrats on redesigning that agency so it is much more focused on taxpayer service, accuracy, and protecting our taxpayer information in a major way. We look to see this moving in April, so we’ll continue to work in that direction.”

On the benefits of pro-growth tax reform:

The majority of Americans now support tax reform for a simple reason: they were misled. They were told that all Americans would see a tax increase, this would do nothing for economic growth. They have seen just the opposite. …

Secondly, they are also seeing dollars flow back to America, bonuses, bigger salaries, better savings plans, and maternity benefits because of tax reform. That’s just in the first four months. …

“I don’t see anyone coming up to me in Texas and saying, ‘hey, let’s go back to the bad old days. Let’s keep seeing our jobs move overseas. Let’s have Washington take more of what we earn. And let’s watch small businesses struggle.’ I just don’t see very many Texans, or Americans, saying let’s go back to the bad, old tax code.”

On China and trade:  

“I think having these discussions between the President and China’s leadership about lowering this trade deficit and about China ending its practice of stealing our U.S. technology and intellectual property, frankly, it is long overdue. The challenge, as you know, is to make sure – and every President’s faced this – is you have to be very cautious about [not] punishing American workers for China’s misbehavior.

“I think the President is right to be having these discussions with China. I think he’s right to be listening to American businesses and workers who are using fairly traded products. We have to make sure that tariffs don’t stunt the growth in any way that are coming from the President’s tax cuts.”

On increasing U.S. competitiveness:

“Back home here, what I hear is that we want to be able to compete and win around the world. You hear that in energy, you hear it in manufacturing, you hear it in aerospace and technology. They’re now armed with one of the most pro-growth tax codes in the world. They want to make sure that these markets are open for them to sell around the world. I think that’s important.

“We certainly in Congress have made the point to the President: look, you are right to target unfairly traded products, leave fairly traded products alone. That’s why we fought so hard and successfully for the exemption process for countries, the exclusion process for products, and now, with the China tariffs, we’re pushing hard to make sure that these tariffs don’t, in some way, impair our economy here at home.”