Transforming our expectations

This morning, House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) led the weekly House Republican Leadership press conference. In her remarks, she reflected on the third anniversary of the ABLE Act becoming law, and her excitement that today’s vote on the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act helps carry on its legacy by empowering Americans of all walks of life to live a better life. Chair McMorris Rodgers also asked that everyone continue to keep the victims of yesterday’s train derailment in her home state of Washington in their prayers.

Joining Chair McMorris Rodgers and the House GOP Leadership team is Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL), whose bill to help veterans access “STEM” employment is on the floor this week. Rep. Dunn is a strong supporter of the pro-family, pro-growth tax reform expected to pass the House later today.

The Chair’s Remarks, as Delivered:

“Good morning, everyone. Let me start by saying we’re keeping everyone impacted by the train derailment in Pierce County, Washington in our hearts today. It’s an ongoing emergency, and you think about people just on their daily commutes and then the tragedy hits. Remember to keep them in your thoughts.

“Today in the People’s House, we’re preparing to send the Tax Cuts & Jobs bill to the President’s desk. The Achieving a Better Life Experience — the ABLE Act — also turns three today. On the day the House passed the ABLE Act, I remember having my son, Cole, on the House floor and reflecting on when he was first born. Brian and I were told at that time not to put any assets in his name. And I remember as new parents we thought that was the wrong message to be sending parents that are ready just to give their child everything that life had to offer.

“As parents, we strive to give our kids the tools they need to pursue their dreams no matter the challenges that they face. Transforming our expectations for people with disabilities is what the ABLE Act is all about. It’s marked a new chapter for people with disabilities — one of empowerment, opportunity, and independence. And today, it’s fitting to reflect on those words again as the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act carries on the legacy of the ABLE Act. It will allow individuals to roll over funds from a 529 account to an ABLE account so they can pay for ongoing expenses. It also allows for ABLE to Work, so that individuals can save more of their own money as they explore the workforce and find good-paying jobs.

“From the very beginning, our focus has been on pro-family, pro-economic growth, so that everyone will have the opportunity for a better life and the opportunity to reach their full potential.

“This legislation nearly doubles the standard deduction, to make more of what you earn tax free. It lowers the rates across the board, so that small businesses and job creators invest here at home, not overseas. And it eliminates costly, special-interest loopholes and instead puts families first. Under this, the average family of four making $73,000 will see a more than $2,000 tax cut. I’d like to thank the conferees from the House and the Senate, everyone that was involved in making this happen, and despite the defenders of the status quo that are using every tired scare tactic in the book to delay progress and divide the American people, our conferees have worked hard to meet our goal for more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks.

“Americans sent us here to do the big things, and that includes fixing a broken tax code. This really is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide a brighter future to all Americans. We’re keeping that promise, and we’re excited to move forward today.”