The shortest distance between two people is their story

This morning, House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) led the weekly House Republican Leadership press conference to discuss the work the House is doing on the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act and a number of bills to improve veterans’ access to care.

She invited Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX), a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and a strong supporter of the Republican plan for tax reform, to share his perspective. Missed the livestream? It’s available below:

On the Tragedy in Texas

Chair McMorris Rodgers: “We’re all so saddened by the shooting at the church on Sunday in Sutherland Springs, Texas. My…prayer is for healing, and that each one of us will be a part of the healing that needs to take place in this country.”

Rep. Arrington: “I want my fellow Texans in Sutherland Springs to know that our hearts are heavy for them and that we’re grieving with them and that we’re praying for their community…I grew up in a small, faith-based community in Texas. I can tell you this — evil will not have the last word in Sutherland Springs. Darkness will not overcome their light.”

On Caring for our Veterans

Chair McMorris Rodgers: “Saturday is Veterans Day, but really every day should be Veterans Day. I’m reminded of that both by being married to Brian, who is a retiree of the Navy, but also I’m proud to represent Fairchild Air Force Base. I’m really humbled to stand by those who have served our country. We are the home of the free because of the grave.”

Rep. Arrington: “As we lead up to Veterans Day, the best way we can honor our veterans is to deliver on our promises to our great heroes. That’s exactly what we’ve done in the House. We’ve passed 28 veteran-related bills out of the chamber, eight bills have become law. We’ve improved access to health care by giving our veterans more choice in their health care decisions. We’ve enhanced educational opportunities through the new GI bill. And we’ve increased accountability, transparency, and efficiency so the VA will not serve themselves, but the customer — our veterans.”

Historic Moment for Tax Reform

Chair McMorris Rodgers: “[The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act] is must-pass legislation that is going to fundamentally help everyone in this country — the little guy, who feels like he’s being left behind; families who are seeking the opportunity to get ahead. That extra $1,182 for middle-income families could mean the difference between living paycheck to paycheck and having financial security and peace of mind.”

“I’ve had the chance to travel a little over the past couple weeks holding tax reform forums. Yesterday morning, I was in Pennsylvania and reminded once again of the hope people have because of the potential of tax relief…These are the faces of tax reform….the shortest distance between two people is their story.”

Rep. Arrington: “Tax reform in west Texas and rural America is about giving our working-class and middle-class families a break and allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned money. It’s about getting off the backs of our job creators, which are our small businesses, and let them create more and better jobs for their communities. It’s about giving our family farmers and ranchers a reason to invest in new tractors and combines…so they can do what they’ve been doing since the beginning of this great country — feeding and clothing the American people…and at the end of the day, when they pass that family farm down to the next generation, we don’t want their kids to have to sell…just to pay the taxes.”