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Brady Opening Statement at Hearing on The 2017 Tax Law and Who It Left Behind

March 27, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement at a Subcommittee Hearing on The 2017 Tax Law and Who It Left Behind.

Before the start of today’s hearing, Rep. Brady and Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE), the top Republican on the Select Revenue Measures  Subcommittee, sent a letter to Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA).  CLICK HERE to read the full letter.

CLICK HERE to watch the hearing.

Remarks as prepared for delivery: 

“Thank you, Chairman Neal.

“Thanks to tax reform and pro-growth policies, vulnerable Americans left behind during the Obama Administration are finding jobs with growing paychecks, experiencing less poverty, and expressing new optimism about their future.

“Repealing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as Democrats have pledged, will not only damage the U.S. economy, kill jobs, reduce paychecks, and send American jobs overseas – it will most hurt women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and workers without a high school education. 

“It is still relatively early to judge the full impact of tax reform – that will take years.  But the early signs are extremely encouraging, ones that both parties should welcome.

“We care about poverty.  Today, Latino and African-American poverty is at the lowest recorded.

“We care about folks with disabilities, about women, about teenagers, and workers who didn’t complete high school.  The unemployment rates for these crucial Americans are at the best in decades.  And even better for Hispanics and African-Americans.

“We care about single moms. That’s why a single mom with two kids won’t pay any taxes on her first $53,000 of income. 

“Millions of hard-working Americans will no longer have to figure their taxes twice, with the Alternative Minimum Tax gone for all but millionaire households.

“With three out of every four dollars in tax cuts going to individuals and small businesses, we care about middle-class families.

“That’s why millions of parents now enjoy a Child Tax Credit twice its earlier size; more of the credit is refundable to the low income, and 8 million more middle-class families can use the credit.

“Main Street America is back, hiring more, paying more, and expanding more because of the new 20-percent small-business deduction.

“U.S. manufacturing is back.  After losing thousands of jobs during the Obama years, today 450,000 manufacturing jobs have been created under the Trump White House.

“That’s why blue-collar jobs are surging – good news for workers who were told by the previous president their jobs were never coming back unless there was a ‘magic wand.’ 

“Paychecks are rising at the fastest rate in a decade.  And workers with the lowest incomes are seeing the greatest increases.

“There is a reason for that wage growth.

“With lower business rates, a modern international system, and historic incentives to invest in new technology, equipment, and research many American businesses are hiring more, paying more, and making the long-term investment in innovation that drives productivity and wages over the long term.

“Some try to claim all this is the result of Obama policies, but that’s silly.  After a decade did some growth fairy suddenly wake up in 2017 and 2018? 

“Business investment grew six time faster than in the last year of President Obama.  Manufacturing awoke.  New business startups are skyrocketing. 

“And in just the first year, American business brought back $700 billion from overseas to invest in jobs, buildings, research, and yes, in their own shareholders when smart investments weren’t readily available.

“Can we do more to help grow our economy and fine tune the tax code so it achieves even more?  Absolutely, and we welcome constructive, bipartisan ideas on how to grow more jobs and provide more opportunities for Americans willing to work.

“I suspect today, though, we may be doing a lot of fact checking.

“Claims for example, that $1.3 trillion of tax breaks went to corporations. called that claim ‘misleading.’ 

“Or Senator Schumer’s assertion that ‘companies are laying off workers because of tax reform.’  PolitiFact labeled that ‘mostly false.’

“Or the claim that ’83 percent of all tax breaks go to the top 1 percent.’ rated that misleading, as well.

“Or PolitiFact, which gave their embarrassing ‘pants on fire’ rating to Democratic claims that tax cuts are only for ‘billionaires and corporations.’

“So far, what tax reform has left behind are the gloomy predictions of a ‘new normal’ for America, where economic growth is disappointing for decades to come, where paychecks would stay flat, and we could do nothing about American jobs going overseas.

“The American economy has a new trajectory and a new optimism. 

“And my prediction is that the best benefits of a new, modern tax code are yet to come because we changed the location and investment decisions of job creators for the long term. 

“As a result, America has moved to the top as the best competitive economy in the world.

“That’s where we want to stay – the best.”