Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from North Dakota (Mr. Cramer).
Mr. CRAMER. Mr. Speaker, we know that the economic and job creation benefits are key components of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, making the U.S. globally competitive again, giving much-needed tax cuts to American business, and much-needed wage increases to American workers.
But, Mr. Speaker, it is really the long overdue direct tax benefits to the vast middle class, who don’t have a lobbyist living in the rich suburbs of Washington, D.C., that take center stage for me and my fellow North Dakotans.
You see, 80 percent of the citizens of North Dakota file claiming this standard deduction. That means, Mr. Speaker, that the vast majority of my constituents will see their deductions nearly doubled if they do nothing else. And obviously, with the doubling of the standard deduction, it will likely inspire even more North Dakotans to claim this simple deduction.
Mr. Speaker, this huge benefit, combined with greater job opportunities and simpler, less expensive filing costs, and, of course, a generous family tax credit, will put more money in the pockets and less anxiety in the hearts of middle class North Dakotans. Supporting this reform package is easy for me because it is right for North Dakota, and I thank Chairman Brady for this outstanding work.
Mr. NEAL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Washington (Ms. DelBene), a very successful businesswomen in her own right, who understands the modern economy.
Ms. DelBENE. Mr. Speaker, in this Ryan-McConnell tax bill, Republicans are touting the largest set of corporate tax cuts in our country’s history. They are raving that their corporate cuts will create jobs, even though we know that trickle-down economics has never worked and never will.
Instead of bringing Democrats and the public into the process, Republicans have made the most cynical tradeoffs, only hurting people who need help the most.
This is wrong. Tax reform should be about coming together and making choices that reflect our values.
Yet, under this plan, teachers, who buy supplies for their students, like pens, pencils, and paper, will lose the ability to deduct those costs from their tax returns, but corporations still can deduct supply costs.
Firefighters will no longer be able to deduct their State and local income or sales taxes, but corporations still can. Homeowners will no longer be able to deduct all of their property taxes, but corporations still can.
And if workers have to move because their employer is forcing them to relocate their families or lose their jobs, they will no longer be able to deduct their moving expenses, but corporations, even those offshoring jobs, still can.
This bill increases taxes on 36 million working families and rips away key lifelines that help people struggling with long-term illness, childcare, and education expenses. It blows a $1.5 trillion hole in the deficit and burdens our children and grandchildren with debt, triggering an automatic $25 billion cut to Medicare. This bill gives massive permanent tax cuts to corporations, but working families will have to live with the temporary scraps thrown at them.
Bottom line: this bill hurts Americans from cradle to retirement, and I urge my colleagues to vote “no.”
Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Kelly), one of the leaders of the Tax Policy Subcommittee.
Mr. KELLY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman Brady and all the members of the Ways and Means staff who have worked tirelessly in order to bring this bill forward. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here today. My friend, Mr. Larson, I notice he wears a pin with a picture of John Kennedy, one of my favorite Presidents of all time.
Let me just read from a speech that President Kennedy gave on December 14, 1962. This is 55 years ago, and he gave it in an address to the Economic Club of New York. “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 revenues to balance our budget–just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits.” . . . only full employment can balance the budget, and tax reduction can pave the way to that employment. The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy, which can bring a budget surplus.”
Keeping that in mind–and I hear the debate going back and forth–I would just encourage all of our Members: you are going to have a choice today to take your voting card, and you are going to put it in the voting machine, and you can push a green button that says “go”, putting this Nation back on track, making America the greatest economic power in the world; or you can push the red button and say: you know what, just not something I can vote for today because it is just not exactly what I want.
Next week, 50 million Americans will travel because they want to come home; they want to come home for the holidays; they want to come home for Thanksgiving. This bill is a Thanksgiving bill. This is a jobs bill because what we are telling corporate America is we want you to come home. We want to make this a more favorable environment for you to live, to work, to succeed, because we know that true success in business is only a sustainable business model.
So when you tax people at the highest rate in the industrialized world, when you regulate people that puts them in an uncompetitive advantage on the shelf, they can’t exist, and so where do they go? They have to leave home to go overseas to find that answer.
Now, I just want to go over some things that really are important. A friend of mine by the name of George Abraham, who is a basketball coach–George and I were talking one day, and we were talking about the value of winning. And George said to me: You know what, Mike, the only position you want to be in is the number one position. And I said: Really?
He goes: Yes. Because anything other than finishing first is you finish with the rest. If you were to take a survey, and Forbes did, and they said: If you were starting a business today, where would you start that business? And right away, I would say: Are you kidding me? It is the United States of America because of who we are, our greatness.
And no, there are 22 other countries that people say I would rather go someplace else than do it right here in America. That is incredible.
And when we talk about where we are as a people–where we are as a people–listen to these figures. These are not my figures, by the way.
This is the Tax Foundation: Cuts for Americans at every economic level; Reduces taxes by almost $1,200 for every average-size middle-income American family; Reduces taxes by almost $2,000 for every average-size middle-income family in Pennsylvania’s Third District; Grows national GDP by 3.5 percent; Increases American wages by 2.7 percent; Increases after-tax income for every taxpayer by 3.8 percent in the long run; Increases after-tax incomes for median families in Pennsylvania by over $2,300; Creates almost 900,000 new American jobs; and Creates, in my State of Pennsylvania, over 36,000 new jobs.
So I say, this is a jobs bill. This is a revenue raiser for us. This is about bringing people back home. This is about more take-home pay for every hardworking American guy and gal who is out there who gets up every day and gets up to do one thing, and that is, to protect their families and work in the interest of their country.
I am just asking you today to look at this card and know that you have within the power of your vote to unleash the greatest economy in the world, to unshackle it from a Tax Code that makes it impossible to compete globally, that overregulates it and forces it offshore, and then blames them for leaving.
This is a “come on back home.” This is a “don’t leave home; stay here; we are on your side; we are going to work with you; and we are going to get there.”
I ask my friends on both sides of the aisle: Let’s do what is right for America. If it is right for America, it is right for Republicans, it is right for Democrats, it is right for Independents, it is right for Libertarians, it is right for America.
This is the right time to do the right thing. My friends, we cannot stay where we are. A standpat hand is a non-winning hand. The ability to move forward, the ability to absolutely not just participate in a global economy but dominate a global economy and give every single American the faith and a future and restore the faith they need to have in this body that we are doing the best thing in their interest every single day that we come here.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to direct their remarks to the Chair.
Mr. NEAL. Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to have Mr. Kelly–as he describes sports teams, we discovered he is a closet Patriots fan. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Judy Chu), whose history, in terms of revenue and revenue collection, is well known to the Congress.
Ms. JUDY CHU of California. Mr. Speaker, one thing is clear about the GOP tax scam: corporate interests get a huge giveaway. They get a windfall tax break. Who pays for it? The middle class. Who wins? Corporations, billionaires, millionaires, the Trump family. Who loses? Women, families, seniors, teachers, students.
As a former Los Angeles Community College teacher of 20 years, I can’t believe what Republicans are doing to students. They rip away critical benefits that help our students pay for their college education. They eliminate the student loan interest deductions and choose to tax graduate students on money they have never even received by taxing the tuition assistance they get for working for their schools.
This bill even pinches students when they are still in elementary school by taxing their teachers who claim a deduction for the school supplies they pay for out of their own paycheck. One teacher in my area even pays for the ink in her classroom printer. They don’t ask to be repaid, just to be able to deduct the expense.
If corporations get to keep this deduction, why not our teachers? And then if that is not cruel enough, they eliminate the deduction for extraordinary medical expenses for those with Alzheimer’s and cancer.
And this week we learn that Republicans plan to pay for these corporate cuts by causing 13 million people to lose their health insurance, a move that will increase premiums by 10 percent and result in individuals with preexisting conditions losing access to lifesaving affordable coverage.
Then Republicans eliminate the State and local ta deduction, which is used by over 6 million California households, to prevent their hard- earned dollars from being taxed twice. Of all the States, Californians will actually face the largest net tax increase from this bill of $12.1 billion in 2027 alone.
California Republicans who vote for this bill ought to be ashamed of themselves, and the voters need to hold them accountable. Thirty-six million middle class families will be stuck holding the bag under this plan. For what? For tax cuts for corporate interests. This is unacceptable.
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 1)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 2)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 3)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 4)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 5)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 6)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 7)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 8)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 9)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act (Part 10)