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Brady Joins WSJ’s Paul Gigot on FOX News

July 09, 2018

On Saturday, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) joined FOX News’ “The Journal Editorial Report” with Paul Gigot to discuss the benefits of tax reform after and what is yet to come.

On the most recent jobs report and wages: 

“One of the focuses of our new tax code is stronger productivity coming from new investments. It’s something that really drives wages for the long term for the right reasons. That takes some time. I was encouraged by the wage growth in the first quarter and didn’t expect that to continue at quite that pace and it hasn’t. But what I am seeing and what we’re all seeing are the business investments that are being made in technologies, equipment, software; all the things that drive competitiveness and stronger productivity that, I think, in the long term drives those wages up and keeps them in a sustainable way. Not an artificial way, a sustainable way. That’s going to take some time but the investment numbers in both the volume and how fast it’s accelerated including those coming back from overseas I think is going to drive those wages over time.”

On phase two of tax reform:

“So the focus here is going to be on making sure those middle-class tax cuts and those small business tax cuts are made permanent. That’s the major feature of 2.0. But I always try to remind our viewers: 2.0 is really about changing that culture in Washington where they wait 30 years in between fixing the tax code. We’ve fallen behind our competitors around the world and we junked the code up with a bunch of special interest provisions that don’t ultimately work. So, what we’re trying to do is to establish every year a Congress that looks at our tax code and asks ‘how can we be more competitive as a country, more innovative, better?’ And so, this first year, 2.0 is about the permanence for middle-class families and our small businesses. We think we can do more to help families save earlier and more throughout their lives. That scenario of tax reform that we’ve done some work on, the Senate had done some work on. We think it’s time.” 

On a timeline for phase two:

My understanding is that Leader McCarthy would like to bring this to the floor after we return from the August break. Right now, in July we’re going to spend the time, just as we did with tax reform, with our Members of the House––listening to them, laying out an outline of what 2.0 would look like, [and] making sure we’ve got strong consensus as we head into August as well. And we’re working closely with the President on all of this, of course.”

“As we know on tax reform 1.0… movement creates movement. So, I think the House moving forward with the very pro-growth, permanence of family-friendly 2.0 gives the Senate the chance to pick and choose sort of which of those elements they want to move and when. Clearly, 60 votes matter in the Senate and so Leader McConnell and others will have to assess what the strength[s] of those different provisions of 2.0 [are]. Paul, I don’t see one big bill, I really see a package of three or four that can be broken apart to work both for the House and work for the Senate as well.” 

On China tariffs and the U.S.’ booming economy:

I think the economic momentum we have from the tax cuts and from our balanced regulation has really given us momentum we haven’t had before and so the tariffs’ issues aren’t showing yet but I believe they will. I think here in Texas, for example, our local manufacturers, our energy industries are starting to weigh pulling their punches on investment and new projects. I know some of our local businesses are actually losing work to foreign competitors because of it. I know that’s not what the President intends and so I think the sooner that the White House can get that exclusion process working, because that has failed to date, to make sure fairly traded products aren’t caught up. I do think the exemptions on Europe, China, and Mexico, they need to be restored. Because I think that’s creating undue pressure here in the U.S. I think the President needs to go straight up against China and rally the rest of the world towards those unfair trade practices so I think some good, smart, adjustments could really focus this trade strategy.”

“You know, the President’s asking for patience. He believes he can win this with China, that he can rebalance the trade agenda. It feels like we don’t have a level playing field right now around the world and so he is challenging those older assumptions, he wants the time to be able to let this strategy work. I think there is, in Congress, strong support for challenging China’s unfair trade practices but there is growing frustration that the way that the exemptions and exclusions are not working and the retaliation is hurting our farmers and our manufacturers in a big way and that’s where we’re continuing to engage with the White House.”