Roundup: Taking Tax Reform to the Floor, Part II

More jobs. Fairer taxes. Bigger paychecks.

That’s what House Republicans want for every person in this country. Tax reform is about opportunity — the chance for a better life.

In the hours leading up to final passage, House Republicans shared stories from their districts and highlighting all the reasons why tax reform is a game-changer for the American people.

Here are a few more highlights from the House floor:

Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN):

“We are delivering a Tax Code so simple that most Americans can file taxes on a postcard. In my district, 80 percent of filers already take the standard deduction. They will be able to keep even more of their money, because the standard deduction is doubled, and most itemizers will now be able to save time, money, and stress by taking the double standard deduction instead.

“No one is ever excited to file their taxes, but I am all for a simpler, quicker process that makes it much more pain-free. H.R. 1 helps job creators grow. Small businesses get a lower rate and more simplicity. Family businesses passed down for generations won’t have to worry about the estate tax anymore, and America will be a more attractive place to do business.

“Our antiquated Tax Code keeps investment in jobs out. This bill incentivizes companies to bring profits back, to locate facilities here, and to grow American jobs and raise wages…I was so proud to vote for this bill in the Ways and Means Committee, and I am proud to be a part of this House that is delivering yet another crucial step toward tax cuts, simplicity, and fairness.”

Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO):

“It is about time we get something real done for the American people. The people of Missouri’s Second District sent me to Washington to secure their jobs and to keep a little more of their hard-earned money, and at long last we are finally doing just that.

“I vote “yes” to fix our broken tax system. I vote “yes” to help reignite the American economy. I vote “yes” to make it a little bit easier for that single mother of two, that firefighter, that teacher, that shop owner, that family of four, that veteran. I vote “yes” for bigger paychecks, better savings, and a more secure future.

I ran for Congress to fight for the people of Missouri and to ensure that every hardworking American can realize their own American Dream.”

Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA):

“Today, Americans are struggling to make ends meet, to find decent- paying jobs, and to prepare for retirement.

“We must do right by our children and our grandchildren and give them a better future than our own. Fortunately, my Republican colleagues and I have put forth a framework to do just that.

“We have discussed for the last few hours in this Chamber as we have been talking that our plan will create more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks for working class Americans and small businesses.

“When business owners are able to keep more of their profits, they will invest that money in their companies and in their employees, and that will spur economic growth, because they will expand their facilities, they will create and expand new product lines, they will add more jobs, and that is good for all of us.

“Passing meaningful tax reform isn’t about sticker shock talking points that we have heard so much about. It is about real everyday Americans who want to grow their businesses, offer better wages to their employees, provide for their families, but who have struggled to do so because of our oppressive and outdated tax policy.

“Our plan puts Americans first and it offers real relief to those who need it most.

“The Federal Tax Code today is more than 70,000 pages long. For context, that is more than 60 times longer than the King James Bible, and it contains none of the Good News.

“It is time to simplify this Code and it is time to unleash the free market in our American economy again. We have that chance. This will be the biggest Christmas gift to the American people in over 3 decades. It is truly historic and it is long overdue.

“Mr. Speaker, we urge our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to vote for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on this floor tomorrow. Let’s make history together. Let’s do right by the American people.”

Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN):

“Mr. Speaker, we have a choice. The choice is Americans. We can either truly grow the economy and put ourselves back on the path to real prosperity, or we can continue the actual trend we have right now of weak economic growth, which only benefits the few and the privileged and will do nothing for regular folks when the next economic downturn hits. Tax reform for me is about one thing and one thing only. It is about restoring hope for a prosperous future for ourselves, our parents, and, most importantly, our children. I want to thank the chairman for his guiding leadership through this effort.”

Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA):

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge my colleagues to take advantage of this historic opportunity that we have before us.

“As I travel across my district, I hear from families that are struggling to get ahead. I hear from families that can’t make ends meet most months. They don’t have a whole lot left over. In fact, 63 percent of American families don’t have $500 to handle an emergency. I hear from businesses that say they would love to be able to hire, expand, or buy that new piece of equipment, but they just don’t have the cash to do it.

“Our Tax Code is taking too many dollars from Pennsylvania and sending it to Washington. It is sending good-paying, middle class jobs overseas and it is holding our economy back, making it harder for so many to get ahead.

“This is our chance to change the status quo. We have an opportunity to jump-start our economy and let more hardworking families keep what they earn.”

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY):

“Most importantly, Mr. Speaker, we deliver tax relief. I know the folks on the other side aren’t going to agree with this because they are going to say this is a Tax Code for the rich, this is a Tax Code, tax reform for the rich and the almighty 1 percent.

“But, Mr. Speaker, I have done the math. I have looked at this bill inside and out, and it delivers a simplified Code where $1,600 is left in the pockets of my constituents in western New York. That is $1,600 that they earned that the government won’t have to take from them anymore; $1,600, Mr. Speaker, that will allow them, as senior citizens, to go visit their grandkids in the South because New York State has driven them out of New York State with its high tax policies at the State capital. That is $1,600 that maybe they can go on a trip with their family and experience a little relaxation because of the hard work that generated those moneys and those dollars in their pockets.

“Mr. Speaker, these are the people whom we represent, the Perrys. Mr. and Mrs. Perry are hardworking people of western New York, and those are their two beautiful children. What this is going to allow them to do is get a little bit more of their money kept in their pocket so they can spend a little bit more time with their kids and enjoy the fruits of their labor.”

Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO):

“A lot has been said today on the floor about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act from my friends on the other side of the aisle. They think that this bill before us will make losers of the American workers or of the American economy. The truth is the status quo–our current broken Tax Code–is causing our workers and our economy to lose.

“Back in southeast Missouri–I will give you an example under the current Tax Code–a machinist in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, working 40 hours a week is fearful to work harder because the more money that they make, the less that they will have percentage wise under our current Tax Code. That is simply not right, Madam Speaker.

“Back in southeast Missouri, a cotton farmer…has worked for decades to build his family farm hoping to pass it on to his daughter. Yet, under the current system, his daughter would have to sell portions of the farm or take out a massive loan to continue the family operation.

“The status quo in our Tax Code is rigged against the American taxpayer. They can’t afford an army of lawyers, accountants, and lobbyists to find all of the loopholes and the bailouts available only to a select few.

“The status quo are tax rates for businesses that are so high that the American companies are not able to grow, hire new workers, or be competitive with other countries around the world.

“The other side of the aisle was arguing to keep a broken Tax Code that is punishing hardworking taxpayers. All of the grandstanding leaves us with one question that needs to be answered for the American people: What do these tax cuts mean for you? It means that the hardworking family in southeast Missouri will keep more of their paycheck.

“Instead of being penalized for success, this bill is about employees. It is about wages. It is about getting to keep more of what you earn. For families and couples, the first $24,000 you earn under this bill will be tax free. You get to keep it. You get to decide how to spend your own money, not the government.

“It means that the small businesses and family farms won’t feel the sting of the IRS and the death tax when tragedy strikes their family.

“It means that lobbyists and special interests become the losers. We close loopholes in handouts that the hardworking taxpayer can’t get.

“We are ending a Tax Code that isn’t built for the everyday American. We are making it simple and fair. It means that America can now compete and win again.

“With this bill, we lower the business rate to historic levels. We are making our economy healthy again. We know from history that a healthy economy takes care of itself. It is more stable and sustainable. It provides for full employment, better jobs, and higher wages.

“Former President John F. Kennedy knew this when he said: `Our true choice is not between tax reduction, on the one hand, and the avoidance of large Federal deficits on the other. It is increasingly clear that no matter what party is in power, so long as our national security needs keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance our budget just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits.'”

Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL):

“The people of Illinois are unfortunately all too familiar with high taxes and the burden they put on families and our local businesses. At the Federal level, things have become just as bad with a Tax Code that is over 74,000 pages long and riddled with loopholes.

“Over 30 years have passed since the last time Congress passed comprehensive tax reform, and you can see the effects of our outdated Tax Code everywhere. We have stagnant hiring, stagnant wages, and a stagnant economy that is holding back our middle class instead of helping them get ahead.

“H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is our chance to change all of this. By simplifying our Tax Code and bringing real relief to everyday families, we can, once again, jump-start the American economy and get it back to working for the middle class.

“The choice before us is a simple one: Do we support this bill and support the middle class, or do we embrace the status quo? That is why I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together and vote for this bill. Let’s send a signal that we don’t stand for the status quo. We stand for growth and economic opportunity for the American people. Let us bring relief to the middle class. Support this bill.”

Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC):

“As my colleagues in this body know very well, it has been many years since we have reformed our Tax Code. Over the last few decades, Congress has cut some taxes here and there, but we are overdue for meaningful tax reform.

“Hardworking taxpayers in North Carolina are right to ask why it has been so long since we have even reformed our Tax Code. The unfortunate truth is that, for many years, Congress has thrown up the white flag in defeat against K Street lobbyists, and they settled for preserving the status quo. However, tomorrow, we have a rare opportunity to finally deliver a tax bill that puts working families first. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would be the biggest overhaul to our Tax Code in 30 years.

“To quickly summarize, this bill would collapse our tax brackets from seven to four; it would double the standard deduction and get rid of many lobbyist loopholes; and it would slash the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, which would allow America to compete and to win.

“The nonpartisan Tax Foundation found that, if we passed this bill into law, American workers would see a 3 percent increase in their wages, and our country would see nearly 1 million full-time jobs created

“Madam Speaker, yesterday, my office received a letter from a constituent of mine that said: “As a manufacturer and constituent, I urge you to support tax reform and legislation that will fix our Tax Code that has held manufacturers back for far too long.” This is just an example of the many letters I have received in favor of this reform effort.

“In addition to letters of support that I have received, studies show that, if we pass this bill, a typical household would see their taxes cut nearly $2,000.

“Let’s think for a second what this means. Instead of the IRS taking it, families could spend it on their children. They could put it in their savings, or they could pay off debts.

“I am supporting this bill so we no longer hold manufacturers back from success. I am supporting this bill because it would make life simpler and easier for job creators, savers, and hardworking families.

“Last week, in this body, I addressed the fact that there are certain provisions within this bill that my colleagues and I may differ on, and I noted that that is just always going to be the case, but I also suggested that we ask ourselves three questions.

“The first question was: Does this bill cut taxes for the vast majority of hardworking American families?

“The second was: Will it bring back jobs?

“And the third question was: Will this bill simplify the tax filing process for working families next year and in the years to come?

“Madam Speaker, the answer to all three of those questions was “yes.” I urge my colleagues to vote tomorrow in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“Last year, President Trump promised to cut taxes for working families, and that is exactly what this bill will do.”

Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX):

“Tax reform in west Texas and in rural America is about giving our hardworking and middle class families a break in allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned money. According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, our plan would increase wages by over 3 percent, create roughly 1 million new jobs, and raise the after-tax income of the average middle-income family by nearly $2,600.

“It is about simplifying the Tax Code and reducing the burden on taxpayers so that they don’t have to spend a combined almost 9 billion hours and $100 billion just to prepare their taxes every year. Under our plan, 9 out of 10 Americans, as my colleague mentioned, will be able to file their taxes on a form as simple as a postcard.

“It is about getting off the backs of our job creators, which are our small businesses, and letting them create more jobs for their communities. Our plan would reduce the tax rate on our Main Street job creators to the lowest it has been since World War II.

“It is about making America competitive again by leveling the playing field for American producers and manufacturers.

“Our plan would lower the corporate tax rate and bring jobs back to America, and it would also boost the average American household income by $4,000 and, in some studies, as high as $9,000.

“It is about giving our family farmers and ranchers a reason to invest in new tractors and equipment, combines and cotton strippers, so they can do what they have been doing: be more productive even at feeding and clothing the American people.

“This plan allows our farmers and ranchers, as well as our small businesses, the ability to write off the full cost of new technology and equipment immediately, and it is about eliminating the duplicative, unfair, and un-American death tax that prevents family farmers, ranchers, and small-business owners from passing down their hard-earned American Dream to the next generation after they paid taxes on it their entire lives.

“Today, more than 70 percent–listen to this–more than 70 percent of family businesses don’t make it to the second generation; 90 percent don’t survive to the third generation. That is unacceptable.

“Tomorrow, Madam Speaker, marks an historic moment, the likes of which we haven’t seen in over 30 years, to change the current economic trajectory of this country and restore freedom and opportunity for all hardworking American families. Let’s seize it. Let’s deliver on our promise, and let’s give much-deserved relief to the American people and a much-needed boost to the American economy.”

Rep. James Comer (R-KY):

“It has been more than 30 years since Congress passed meaningful tax reform. In those three decades, we have seen unbelievable progress in technology, communications, manufacturing, and so much more. I am thrilled we now have a chance to pass meaningful tax reform, an opportunity to finally move to a Tax Code that works for families, small businesses, and Americans across the board.

“We have a once-in-a-generation chance to bolster middle class prosperity, strengthen our economy, and help America’s global competitiveness. These are not just abstract concepts. These are real people, families, businesses, and workers.

“Over this past year, I have traveled through the 35 counties that I represent, and I have been so impressed by the countless Kentuckians who are working to bring jobs of the future into rural America. Unlike these innovative entrepreneurs, our Tax Code is, unfortunately, stuck in the past.

“Like many of my constituents in the First District, I run a family farm and have experienced the challenges of dealing with an outdated and cumbersome Tax Code. know firsthand the difficulties small businesses face when they try to operate, grow, and hire more workers while battling a Tax Code that does not work for them. Passing tax reform is finally within reach, and I enthusiastically support swift passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“Throughout our Nation’s history, small businesses have served as the backbone of our communities. These companies provide high-quality jobs, contribute to their local communities, and invest money right here at home. That is why I am dedicated to enacting tax relief that allows American small-business owners to keep more of their hard-earned tax dollars, to grow their businesses, and to compete globally.

“This bill will create almost 13,000 new jobs in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and will raise after-tax income for middle class families by almost $2,000. More than 59,000 taxpayers in the First District itemize their taxes, and because of the near doubling of the standard deduction and other simplifications, many of our taxpayers will have much simpler returns. And for our Nation, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will generate economic growth adequate to increase Federal tax receipts by $1 trillion.

“In the First District of Kentucky, there are nearly 44,000 taxpayers who earn small business income. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, small- business owners will benefit from the new lower 9 percent tax rate on the first $75,000 of their business income for owners earning less than $150,000. Families and small businesses will have more opportunities to succeed with this framework.

“Additionally, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduces the number of deductions and credits aimed at special interests and other well- connected groups, which will create a simpler, more level playing field for American taxpayers. Getting rid of these special privileges in the Tax Code will ensure that all Americans, not just those who can afford their own tax preparers, get to keep more of their own money.

“President Trump, my colleagues in Congress and I have promised to deliver tax reform in a big way. I am proud to be keeping this promise now. My constituents deserve a system that enables them to keep more of their hard-earned money and spend less of their time dealing with our overly complicated Tax Code.

“I think it is important to address a concern that I have heard throughout the tax reform debate, one that I take very seriously: our national debt, which currently tops $20 trillion and is growing every day. The debt is a serious problem that poses an impediment to growth, a burden on our future, and a threat to our national security.

“While I am glad to finally hear bipartisan interest in addressing this challenge and getting the deficit under control, I think it is clear that any solution must include reducing government spending, particularly on mandatory programs that are the major drivers of our debt. I look forward to continuing to work towards this goal.

“The last time we addressed our Tax Code was when President Reagan was in office. Sticking with the Tax Code we have had for decades, one that leaves U.S. businesses and workers behind, is not an option. Now, I have high hopes for the future with this tax reform framework.

“I will continue fighting for reform that will benefit Kentuckians and our Nation as a whole, and I look forward to supporting pro-growth solutions that have proven to benefit our Nation and our citizens.”

Rep. Tom Garrett (R-VA):

“Madam Speaker, the last time this Nation passed major tax reform, yours truly weighed 112 pounds at the beginning of wrestling season. I had a full head of hair, I never set foot west of Mississippi, nor outside the United States of America.

“Madam Speaker, the last time this country addressed tax reform, the Soviet Union was welcoming a new leader named Mikhail Gorbachev. It has been too long.”

Want to learn more about our vision for pro-family, pro-growth tax reform? Text TAX REFORM to 50589 and visit