House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Rep. Mia Love (R-UT), Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), and Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) joined Becky Norton Dunlop at the Heritage Foundation for a Women’s History Month discussion about how all issues are ‘women’s issues.’ From family life to public policy to free enterprise, they touched on it all!
Chair McMorris Rodgers joins this event as part of her ongoing Faces of Tax Reform discussions. The Chair’s Faces of Tax Reform tour has taken her across the country, where she has led roundtable conversations and listening sessions with minority entrepreneurs, families in North Carolina, workers in Michigan, small business owners inVirginia, and locals in Pennsylvania.
She highlighted the ways in which the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, our pro-family, pro-growth tax reform bill, are positively impacting women’s lives across the country, including helping her hometown of Spokane build a women’s shelter.
Check out their full panel discussion here and scroll ↓ for key excerpts from the Chair’s remarks:
“One example that I wanted to share with you was in the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act that recently passed. One of the provisions in that bill is an elimination of the corporate Alternative Minimum Tax. Because of that provision, Premera Blue Cross in Washington state just this week announced that they are dedicating $40 million to reinvest in communities across Washington state. This includes $1 million to the Hope House, a women’s shelter in Spokane. I recently visited this shelter and met some of these women….they pressed upon me that every day they are turning women away. They are so excited to have this $1 million because they have plans for a tripling of their capacity.
“Now let me ask you this, who would you trust more to make a difference for your neighbors in need, like the women at Hope House? Would you trust government bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. who often only see these challenges as numbers on a piece of paper? Or would you trust the people in Spokane that are on the ground that are meeting them every day?
“The answer here is obvious…$40 million dollars in the hands of real people — in our communities — is going to go a lot further than if we would have just kept it here in Washington, D.C. This is just one example of how conservative principles, conservative values, are the ones that promote freedom, opportunity, and a limited federal government that will have an opportunity for a better life.”
OTHER WAYS TAX REFORM HELPS WOMEN
“There’s other provisions within the tax bill, I know you’ve heard many of these. The doubling of the Child Tax Credit. The preservation of the Adoption Tax Credit. The expanded 529 accounts that include K-12 education for those families that want to invest in education themselves. For moms like myself, who are raising a son with disabilities, the ABLE to Work provision that will now allow a child with disabilities who has a 529 account to go explore work, see what’s out there, maybe get an internship or a part-time job and put that money into their ABLE account so it doesn’t jeopardize their benefits. There’s a lot that’s been done, but the work continues.”
TAX REFORM MEANS HOPE
“We did a tour around the tax reform bill before it was passed. We went around to different states. We ended up going to Virginia, Michigan,North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Small business owners and farmers would talk about wanting to pay their employees more, wanting to give higher benefits to their employees, but as a small business owner they just felt that because of the tax burden and because of the health care costs it was not possible.
“You could hear in their voices that they were very frustrated because they wanted to do more for their employees. As this bill…is being implemented, [employers] are investing in their employees, whether it’s the bonuses they’ve been able to give, or those that have been expanding benefits….it’s given some optimism to people that was really needed. I think for several years now it’s really been a hunker down mode trying to get through, trying to survive. The optimism, the hope, is what’s most exciting to me and that we can keep that going so that people — women, everyone — will start dreaming again about what’s possible.”
ADDRESSING PRIORITIES IN CONGRESS
“One thing we often hear about are the ‘women’s issues.’ I think everyone on this panel is going to suggest to you that all issues are women’s issues, and the work we do day in and day out is going to is so important to everyone in the country — men, women, and children. Women care about defense, finance, health care and everything in between, and it’s really the conservatives that are moving forward the policies that are going to empower women, as well as everyone else.”
“’m proud to serve currently as the Chair of the Republican Conference and work on many policies that are about promoting people and empowering people all across this country. For some, it’s the importance of getting rid of the red tape that often stifles innovation and next generation thinking; move ahead more choices in health care; provide tools for education choice and opportunity; protect the dignity of life; provide tax relief. It’s a long list, but I’m proud of the fact that this Congress has addressed all of those issues — and more! We are about putting power back in the hands of individuals, not keeping those decisions here in Washington, D.C. And because all issues are women’s issues, we need to be writing policies that reflect us and our priorities.”