Stories from Home: How Americans are Better Off Now

House Republicans criss-crossed their districts this summer, meeting with and listening to people from all walks of life. One thing that farmers, small business owners, families, and local leaders all had in common: a renewed sense of confidence, optimism, and hope.

Thanks to Republican policies, our economy is booming, our communities are safer, and our military is stronger. Our country is Better Off Now than it was two years ago, and the work continues. More on that at Better.gop.

Ahead of the Ways and Means Committee markup Tax Reform 2.0, several House Republicans took to the House floor to share what they heard at home about our work in the People’s House:

Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS):

“There has been a lot of talk lately about our country’s economic recovery. Some of the debate recently has centered around when it started versus how it started. But really, it indicates one thing is real clear, that after years of stagnation, high unemployment, low wage growth, today, there is no denying that America is better off now than we were two years ago. Tax reform and getting government out of the way has helped fuel this economic recovery. For eight long years, we had an administration working against business growth. Now America has a President and Congress working to grow the economy. In addition to our economy, pro-growth policies have been championed that allow veterans, our Armed Forces, families, and small businesses in every sector and in every community to be Better Off Now.”

“During the past month, I met with multitudes of small businesses and groups, some of which include: the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce; touring a wind farm in Pratt County; meeting with constituents at Dave’s Pizza in Coldwater; learning about services provided at Medicine Lodge Memorial Hospital; meeting with constituents at Hibbard’s Prescription Plus in Medicine Lodge; hosted a town hall for veterans; participated in a roundtable with the Realtors of south central Kansas; celebrated the ribbon cutting of two low-income housing projects in Wichita, one specifically designated for veterans; met with constituents at Tiger Town Pizza in St. John; toured the Golden Belt Feeders in Stafford County; met with constituents at Carr Auto-Electric in Larned; visited the Offerle Co-op; spent a day in Greensburg at the Big Well Museum, the school, the senior center, the art studio, and the media center; discussed the farm bill and several other issues related to our agriculture community as I went to several county farm bureau meetings; spoke at the West Wichita Sunrise Rotary Club; and toured the Textron Aviation manufacturing facility.

“I travel home to Kansas every week and during the district work period to hear from constituents. Even though there is more work to do, my latest district work period made it clear, as I spent time in the district, that individuals, families, and small businesses across our state and country are Better Off Now.”

Rep. Diane Black (R-TN):

“Mr. Speaker, long before 2017, our tax code had become broken, complicated, and outdated. It no longer worked for our families or our businesses. We needed to rebuild confidence in our private sector and provide release for families. We needed to bring back America’s competitive edge by giving job creators freedom from punishing high taxes. And when tax reform was signed into law last December, we accomplished that. In our bill, we doubled the standard deduction and lowered the rate for individuals, which means that parents and families are keeping more of their money in their pockets. We also dramatically reduced the tax rate for small businesses so they can invest in the people who keep their businesses moving. And now we want to make those cuts permanent.

“The Tax Foundation estimates that implementing permanent relief will create 1.5 million new jobs and increase our GDP by 2.2 percent. Permanent tax cuts will continue to encourage the economic growth that has put our Nation back in the front of competition. It will give taxpayers room to breathe when it comes to saving for life’s unexpected challenges or emergencies, and it will allow our families to save money by expanding access to new and existing savings vehicles for their children’s education. That is what tax reform is all about: allowing taxpayers to keep more money in their pockets so that they can choose what to do with their money. Americans know how to spend their money better than the government does. It is as simple as that.

“I am proud of our accomplishments, because it means people can breathe easier and with confidence. But we still have work to do to ensure that our tax code remains competitive, innovative, and better. Tax reform is boosting our economy, and we want to add to that momentum. So, with the bill that the Ways and Means Committee is working on, we have an opportunity to bring permanent certainty to millions of Americans, and we intend to do just that.”

Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX):

“My home county, my home district is on the verge of coming close to 900,000 people. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act has changed all of their lives in a dramatic and very important way. Texas 22 is Better Off Now. My home county, Fort Bend County, Texas, is the most diverse county in America; 140 languages are spoken all over Texas 22. Every time I am home, I ask people what they think about lower tax rates for their families, a 21 percent corporate tax rate, full expensing of their expenses in the same year, and an end of the death tax. They say the same thing over and over; 140 languages become one language, and that language is pure Texas.

“Quote from back home: ‘I like these tax cuts. Are they good? Dang straight. I reckon I can buy a new pickup truck, provide health care for my employees who have back pains because their wallets in their back pockets of their Wrangler jeans are so darn heavy they are twisting their spine.’

“Mr. Speaker, these Texans say: I can’t understand how Democrats in the U.S. House can call these tax cuts mere crumbs. Crumbs. Back home, they are puzzled: How can these Democrats be so out of touch with America? How can my family keeping our money be such a bad thing? But one old boy Texan in Meadville, Texas, solved this problem. He said: ‘If the money I get in my pocket from keeping my money is crumbs, I am fixing to be a world record holder in the Guinness Book of World Records. I will have a mound of crumbs as big as a Texas icon, Enchanted Rock.’ That rock is 640 acres big and stands 525 feet above the terrain. That is a dang big pile of crumbs.”

“Mr. Speaker, the final crumb story I have, again, is from an icon from Richmond, Texas. His name is Andres Novoa. He owns La Cocina Mexican restaurant. For every crumb of the Mexican food he makes, he sells, he gives two crumbs back to his local community. He has the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in all of Fort Bend County. He raises thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars for causes like Meals on Wheels in Fort Bend County. He has raised enough money to buy two vans for Meals on Wheels. With the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, he can buy another van, a third van, for Fort Bend County Meals on Wheels.

“These Texans are all excited. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act 2.0 is coming quickly. That means this great law will be permanent. It will be more competitive. And guess what. We will have more and more records in Fort Bend County of piles and piles of crumbs for the Guinness Book of World Records. Americans are Better Off right now, and they will be better off in the future.”