The day before President Obama’s final State of the Union Address, Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) joined Ben White of Politico’s Morning Money for a moderated discussion on the committee’s goals for the coming year as well as the state of the United States economy. Chairman Brady talked extensively about ways Republicans and Democrats can work together, particularly on tax reform and international trade.
Watch the full interview HERE.
Below are several excerpts from Chairman Brady’s appearance:
On the Coming Year’s Priorities | “The President has kind of a clear choice here. He can continue with items that have been so divisive for this country. …or he can lay out a pro-growth vision for where the country can be. This President inherited a very tough economy, but here we are six and a half years after the recovery began, and we’re still holding our breath month after month for the jobs report. We can do far better than where we’re at, so I’d like to see the President lay out where he can work with Republicans on fixing this broken tax code, which we know is too costly, too complex—basically unfair. I’d like to see him take some steps working with us to reduce the red tape regulatory barriers because it really is the reason why Main Street isn’t hiring today. I’d like to see him agree to work with us on welfare reform, because we know we can get more people back off those rolls and into some real opportunities. And of course, issues like trade. Why can’t we build more here and sell it around the world? I think there’s common ground there….those are areas I’m convinced we could work well together on.”
On Tax Reform | “Under Speaker Paul Ryan, we’re not going to have five people sit in a room and decide what our new tax code is going to be. It’s going to be treated from the ground up in our conference. …We are coming off of very strong momentum by this tax permanency bill that ends this Washington-as-usual, temporary extenders, it was a critical step going forward. There’s been work done, both by former chairman and now-Speaker Paul Ryan, on international tax reform. We’re going to continue that work. In fact, I plan on there being a vote on international tax reform this year in the Ways and Means Committee. And we’re going to lay the foundation for what I call a Tax Code Built for Growth—built for the growth of your family’s paychecks; built for the growth of local businesses; and built for America’s economic growth. I am often asked: ‘so what is your tax plan?’ and I like to make the case that there are several ways, several paths, to get to a tax code built for growth. I know where I want us to go, and where our conference House Republicans, want to go, which is: We want a fairer, flatter, simpler tax code. We’re going to have to close deductions and loopholes so we can the lower rates for everybody. We need to ensure that small businesses aren’t paying more than large businesses, as some do today. I want all businesses, no matter how big, to be able to compete and win whether it’s on Main Street or around the world, and when they do win I want them to bring those profits home and invest in American jobs and research and development, and new facilities. And the final principle in a Tax Code Built for Growth is that we’re not bailing out Washington’s spending problems.”
On International Trade | “…nobody has yet convinced me a dollar stranded overseas is better than a dollar brought back to the U.S. for any reason. …The economic value of moving into the Asia-Pacific area under our trade rules is critically important, with half of the world’s middle class customers being in that region, that’s where want to be. …There are some challenges. …the key is first taking up this agreement [TPP] in the most open and transparent process that has ever occurred. We can thank those who passed the Trade Promotion Authority bill, the new trade rules, for laying out that agenda. We’re going to exceed those requirements for openness and deliberation going forward. …My thinking is let the substance and support of the agreement drive the time – either hasten or delay it, but we just keep building support going forward.”