WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) today delivered the following opening statement at the House Rules Committee hearing on the Conference Report for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Chairman Sessions, Ranking Member Slaughter, Members of the Rules Committee – thank you for allowing me to testify on the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“And thank you for your consideration of this historic bill to reform America’s broken tax code and bring lasting tax relief to families and local job creators across the country.
“Last month, the House passed legislation to overhaul our nation’s tax code for the first time in more than three decades.
“Shortly thereafter, the Senate took action to do the same.
“And last week, we came together in a House-Senate Conference Committee – which I had the honor of leading – to deliver one unified, transformational tax reform bill for the American people.
“As I will describe for you, there are a several key differences from the bill we passed a month ago, but the main focus of this legislation has not wavered one bit.
“This bill is – and always has been – focused on delivering more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks to hardworking Americans nationwide.
“With this legislation, a typical family of four earning the median family income of $73,000 will see a tax cut of nearly $2,100.
“That’s the result of lowering tax rates at every income level, doubling the standard deduction, and improving key provisions that families count on.
“This bill doubles the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000 – and $1,400 of that is refundable and will be indexed for inflation.
“The bill preserves the mortgage interest deduction and important relief for state and local taxes.
“Specifically, it maintains the ability to write-off state and local property taxes. From there, Americans can deduct up to $10,000 in either state and local income taxes or sales taxes.
“This provision and many others reflect how closely we listened to the American people as we worked to finalize the bill.
“For example, the Conference Report preserves the student loan interest deduction, the exclusion for graduate student tuition assistance and waivers, and the provision allowing teachers to deduct out-of-pocket costs for school supplies.
“I also want to make clear that this legislation maintains – and improves – the medical expense deduction to help Americans who have high medical bills.
“Lastly, as it relates to health care, I’m pleased to say this bill repeals the tax penalty associated with Obamacare’s individual mandate. No longer will Americans be strong-armed into Obamacare health plans they do not want and cannot afford.
“Again, these provisions and numerous others show how we welcomed feedback in every step of this process, and worked hard to incorporate key features to help Americans of all walks of life.
“And the same is absolutely true of the historic, pro-growth features for our job creators.
“This legislation provides the lowest tax rates in modern history for businesses of all sizes.
“We’ll have a corporate tax rate of 21 percent to help our businesses compete worldwide and create more jobs here at home.
“For our Main Street job creators, we’re finally going to have a tax code that works with them as they grow, hire, and invest in our communities.
“This includes providing a first ever deduction of up to 20 percent on the earnings of America’s pass-through businesses. And with this deduction, our Main Street job creators will have a top effective marginal tax rate of just 29.6 percent. That’s over 10 points less than today, allowing our small businesses to invest more in their operations, their workers, and their futures.
“Finally, with this legislation, we’re taking landmark action to increase American competitiveness.
“We will finally have a modern tax system that helps our businesses compete globally and encourages them to invest their profits here locally.
“We will strengthen our energy security and independence by responsibly harnessing more of America’s vast energy resources.
“We will have tough but fair rules to protect our workers and prevent American jobs, manufacturing, and research from moving overseas.
“Above all, we will establish America as a 21st century magnet for investment, job creation, and growth – leapfrogging our nation back into the lead pack worldwide.
“I want to thank the Members of the Conference Committee on H.R. 1, as well as the Members of the Ways and Means Committee, our colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee, and all the Members and staff who contributed to this historic legislation.
“With this bill, we have an opportunity to fundamentally reshape America’s tax code into one that is simple, fair, and focused on helping the American people – not Washington special interests.
“We have an opportunity to make bold, pro-growth tax reform a reality for the first time in 31 years.
“With that, Mr. Chairman, thank you again for your consideration of this historic legislation and I look forward to answering your questions.”