Washington, DC – The Committee on Ways and Means today marked up the Report on Legislative and Oversight Activities for the Committee. The report, which was approved by the Committee favorably, details the committee’s actions taken through May 31, 2011, and reveals a near singular focus on legislation that promotes job creation. Discussing the report, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) made the following statement:
“From the first hearing for the 112th Congress, the focus of Ways and Means has been, and will continue to be, on proposals and legislation to create jobs. From pro-growth tax reform, to enacting long-pending, job-creating trade agreements, to getting our debt and deficit under control by shoring up our entitlement programs, the committee has focused on creating an environment in which the private sector can rebound and the nearly 14 million unemployed Americans can get back to work.”
Four areas where the Committee has focused its energies include:
- Transforming the current tax code: Through a series of hearings, the Committee has conducted a thorough and systematic review of our nation’s tax code. It is clear the current code prevents, rather than promotes job creation. Witnesses who represent big and small businesses, individual taxpayers, and economists have all confirmed: the current code’s complexity and high rates, discourages hiring, global competitiveness, and certainty among employers and families. Witnesses testifying before the Committee have called for lower rates and fewer deductions and credits.
- Advancing three long-pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea: The non-partisan, independent International Trade Commission estimates that economic activity will increase by about one percent of gross domestic product (GDP) as a result of these agreements, which equates to about 250,000 new jobs for American workers. The committee has convened a series of hearings focused on advancing each of these agreements and acted swiftly to make clear to the Administration that we need meaningful action in July to advance these job-creating agreements.
- Repealing job-killing regulations on small businesses: One of the greatest successes for small businesses has been the passage of full repeal of the 1099 tax reporting provision in the Democrats’ health care law. The bill was moved through Committee where it received an open mark-up process, gained strong bipartisan support in the House and Senate, and was signed into law by the President in April. This legislative victory means small businesses can focus more of their energies and resources on creating jobs, not filling out yet another form for the IRS.
- Reforming entitlements and reigning in the nation’s job crushing debt: A series of hearings on both the Social Security and Medicare programs have highlighted the tenuous financial footing both programs are on. If changes are not made to the program, benefits could be cut by 23 percent in Social Security and 17 percent in Medicare. Alternatively, payroll taxes could be increased by 32 percent to cover Social Security’s shortfall and 24 percent to prevent Medicare from going bankrupt. Without reforming these critical programs, the nation’s debt will surpass the size of the U.S. economy, slowing economic growth and costing the country about 1 million jobs and will only continue to spiral out of control.