WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) today delivered the following opening statement at a markup of bipartisan bills to help more Americans get back to work and to strengthen America’s energy security.
CLICK HERE to watch today’s markup.
Remarks as delivered:
“Good morning. Before we start today, I want to take a moment to speak about the shooting that occurred yesterday morning at our practice for today’s Congressional Baseball Game.
“Our prayers continue to be with everyone who was injured – members, staff, friends, and first responders. That includes Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a roommate of mine and Erik Paulsen’s, and a widely-respected leader in Congress.
“And we’re deeply grateful – all of us – for the actions taken yesterday by Capitol Police officers to protect our friends, colleagues, and the surrounding community.
“Again, to those who were injured, we’re all praying for your swift and successful recovery.
“Now, let’s begin.
“Today our Committee will consider two pieces of bipartisan legislation. One focuses on economic security – promoting more opportunities for Americans to get back to work – and the other is focused on strengthening our nation’s energy security.
“Due to scheduling constraints, we will not be marking up the five bipartisan child welfare bills previously planned for action this week.
“These five bipartisan bills were all provisions of the ‘Family First Prevention Services Act’ passed last year by our Committee and the House – but not the Senate.
“We appreciate the cooperation of our Democratic colleagues in advancing these bills, and we will continue to work with the Majority Leader to schedule their consideration by the whole House soon.
“As I mentioned, we have two bills on the docket today. The first is H.R. 2842, the “Accelerating Individuals Into the Workforce Act” – bipartisan legislation sponsored by Congressmen Curbelo and Davis to help more Americans get back to work.
“According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, there are more than 6 million job openings, the highest levels since the government started tracking this data in 2000. At the same time, the share of Americans participating in the workforce is near a four-decade low.
“So the question is, how can we bridge the gap? How do we connect out-of-work Americans with all of the employers who want and need to fill these job openings?
“As the Human Resources Subcommittee has heard time and time again, one of the most effective answers to this problem is employer-driven, on-the-job training for workers. And that’s exactly what is provided by the ‘Accelerating Individuals Into the Workforce Act.’
“Our second bill is H.R. 1551, bipartisan tax legislation authored by Congressmen Rice and Blumenauer. This bill clarifies an issue in existing law to help ensure the effective operation of the tax credit for nuclear energy production. It addresses an urgent problem that now poses a threat to our nation’s energy security and, by extension, our national security.
“As a result of uncertainty surrounding the current structure of this tax credit, there is a risk of construction grinding to a halt on several cutting-edge nuclear power plants in our country. Meanwhile, our international competitors are moving ahead on nuclear power to bolster their own energy sector.
“Nuclear power is a critical component of an all-of-the-above strategy for energy independence and national security. It is urgent that we take action to solve this issue in our tax code and provide the certainty that our energy innovators need to continue moving forward with construction.
“I want to thank Congressmen Rice and Blumenauer for leading the charge on this vital effort.
“I want to thank Congressmen Curbelo and Davis for their work to help Americans get back to work.
“And I want to thank all the Members on both sides of the aisle who crafted the child welfare bills we will continue to advance in the coming days.
“These are important bills to help the American people, and they are all worthy of bipartisan support.”