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Tax Subcommittee Chairman Kelly Opening Statement – Hearing on  Tax Policies to Expand Economic Growth

December 6, 2023 — Blog    — Opening Statements    — Press Releases    — Select Revenue Measures   

As prepared for delivery.

“Thank you to my fellow colleagues and our witnesses for joining us here today.  The topic of today’s hearing is to discuss the successes and economic benefits to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and explore other tax policy proposals.  

“The 2017 Republican Tax Reform legislation helped millions of American families, workers, and small businesses – which resulted in a thriving economy. TCJA promoted a broad-based, low-rate tax code.  Creating the foundation for record-high tax revenues, record wage growth, and lifting millions of Americans out of poverty.  

“Now, to highlight some facts and figures about this successful legislation.  

“In the first two years after TCJA – real median household income increased by $5,000 –exceeding income growth during the prior 8 years combined.   

“To protect Main Street – The Small Business Deduction in TCJA created over $66 billion per year in tax savings for Main Street businesses.  These policies created a strong foundation for U.S. economic growth and prosperity in our small businesses.  

“To protect working families – Wages increased by 4.9 percent for 2018 and 2019 – the fastest two-year growth for real wages in 20 years. 

“According to the Federal Reserve, low- and middle-income families received the largest increase in wealth during 2018 and 2019 with more than 6 million lifted out of poverty. 

“To highlight an important part for my constituents – In 2017, TCJA created Opportunity Zones, a bipartisan idea that has transformed communities across the country – Especially in my home district in Erie, PA.  

“With the right mix of hometown people and business leaders, the Erie Downtown Development Corporation hit the ground running in 2019, breaking ground in what was – at the time—the poorest zip code in America.  

“Opportunity Zones, like the one in Erie, PA have led to unimaginable growth.  

“Opportunity Zone investment reached almost 4,000 communities through its first two years.  This is nearly half of the total number of designated Opportunity Zone communities across this country.  My home state of Pennsylvania saw 132 communities – 44 % of the Opportunity Zones in the state — receive investment through the end of 2020.  

“Opportunity Zones created growth.  And Opportunity Zone investment is going to communities that are substantially more economically distressed than the rest of the country. 

“This is why I continue to lead legislation – such as – Opportunity Zones Transparency, Extension, and Improvement Act – to boost economic investment in these distressed communities.  

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act helped American families, small businesses, and resulted in a booming economy. 

“As a committee and conference, we are committed to economic growth, opportunity and fiscal responsibility.  Looking ahead to 2025, when many TCJA provisions are set to expire, we need to ensure our tax code encourages investment, job growth, and economic security for American working families.   

“As a car dealer that spent a lifetime fighting for my family’s business – I know how important this committee’s responsibility is to expand on this TCJA’s wins for American workers.    

“With that, I look forward to hearing from my colleagues on their ideas and from our panel of witnesses today on their various ideas to use tax policy to return our nation to the roaring economy it once was.”