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Chairman Smith Opening Statement – Hearing on Expanding on the Success of the 2017 Tax Relief to Help Hardworking Americans

April 11, 2024

“The 2017 Trump tax cuts provided a critical blueprint that Congress can build upon to make lasting improvements to our tax code.”

As prepared for delivery.

“Seven years ago, Republicans passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act under President Trump, delivering relief to millions of families and small businesses and creating the best economy in our lifetime.

“In the first two years after passage of that tax relief, real wages grew nearly five percent – the fastest growth in twenty years. Real median household income increased by $5,000, a bigger gain than the prior eight years combined. The officially reported poverty rate dropped to its lowest level in history, and black and Hispanic unemployment reached historic lows.

“I expect my colleagues will use the same tired talking points about that bill being all about tax breaks for the wealthy. But the truth is the Congressional Budget Office found that the 2017 tax law increased the share of taxes paid by the top one percent of households while reducing the burden paid by lower income earners. As a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Americans earning under $100,000 received an average tax cut of 16 percent. Facts are Facts.

“On the other hand, President Biden’s so-called Inflation Reduction Act forced taxpayers to subsidize big banks and corporations. More than 90 percent of that bills special interest tax subsidies for electricity go to companies with over $1 billion in sales.

“They also included $7,500 tax credits to purchase luxury EVs – more than 80 percent of those credits are claimed by households earning six figures. 

“Democrats want to blame the 2017 tax cuts for adding to the debt while ignoring the $10 trillion they and President Biden spent during the first two years of total Democrat control of Congress.

“Under the Republican’s tax law, revenues reached a record high of $4.9 trillion in 2022 — nearly a trillion more than CBO’s projections. Corporate tax revenues were 17 percent above projections. In fact, in the four years following enactment of the tax law, revenues averaged an increase of $205 billion per year above what was estimated.

“The 2017 Trump tax cuts provided a critical blueprint that Congress can build upon to make lasting improvements to our tax code. The House has already shown strong bipartisan support for key provisions of the 2017 law by passing the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act earlier this year. But there is still much work to be done.

“Unfortunately, President Biden has shown he is willing to throw away these hard-won gains. 

“The President has repeatedly said that a budget is a statement of values. His most recent budget shows that he clearly values higher taxes and more inflationary spending over the wellbeing of the American people. The current price tag on Biden’s tax hikes is $5 trillion, exploding to $7 trillion with his suggestion to fill the gap if middle-class tax cuts are extended.

“Here’s the bottom line: Congress must act soon to prevent what will be the largest tax hike in history on workers, families, farmers, and small businesses. If the 2017 tax cuts expire, the average family of four earning $75,000 will see their taxes increase by $1,500 a year, starting in 2026. A family of five with two earners making around $100,000 would see a tax increase of nearly $7,500 a year. President Biden and many other Democrats have called for repeal of the Trump tax cuts. Republicans won’t let that happen because middle-income earners will be hit hardest by the coming tax hikes.

“Small businesses will also face massive hardship. With the expiration of the 199A small business deduction, we will see even more “closed for business” signs up and down main street when their federal tax rate jumps to over 40 percent.

“The hard work this committee put into doubling the Child Tax Credit, which we reaffirmed just a couple months ago in the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act, will be slashed in half after 2025.  

“The safeguards we put in place to make it harder for the IRS to go after family farms and ranches will sunset after 2025. 

“Democrats continue to rave about the economy but they’re forgetting one thing: you can’t pay your mortgage, feed your family, or put gasoline in your car with a jobs report. We need pro-growth solutions that will restore the economy we had under President Trump.

“Our committee has already made progress on pro-growth and pro-family tax policies this Congress. Now we need to come together and look at other ways we can strengthen our competitive edge against China and ensure our tax code is a help – not a hindrance – to workers, families, farmers, and small businesses just trying to get by.”