Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Renacci), one of our key members of the Ways and Means Committee.
Mr. RENACCI. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. First of all, I want to thank President Trump for making this a priority, but I especially want to thank Chairman Brady for his tireless efforts and leadership in bringing this legislation to the floor today.
Three decades ago, there was a 24-year-old starting a business in Ohio. He borrowed money and started hiring people. As he grew his business, he didn’t take a paycheck and kept hiring hardworking middle class Americans. But then, as he started looking over things, he couldn’t hire anymore, because of the tremendous tax bill owed to the Federal Government.
That is what small business entrepreneurs face in today’s tax environment. That 24-year-old was me. Luckily, I was a certified public accountant. I was able to figure out a way to make my business work and grow without our suffocating Tax Code or through our suffocating Tax Code.
Unfortunately, most small-business owners do not experience the Tax Code complexities until they get started. They have an idea, they start their business, and then the government steps in; and they are not CPAs.
If my three children were to ask me today if they should risk and start a business, I would be hesitant to push them down that path, which is why I support H.R. 1, which lowers the tax rate for businesses and gives hardworking taxpayers a break. This bill puts more money in their pockets to do with it what is important to them, those hardworking taxpayers, not letting the government take it and waste it.
Lowering the individual rate will give Americans the opportunity to choose where they want to spend their money instead of banking on a government to spend it for them.
On the business side, the harsh reality is that America has become an uncompetitive place to do business. With the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world, it should not be a surprise that businesses are relocating to countries with better business climates. Fortunately, by bringing our rate down to 20 percent, we can make America one of the most competitive countries in the world to do business.
It is hard for U.S. companies to compete against companies based in Canada, where the Federal income tax rate is 15 percent, Ireland at 12.5 percent, or even the U.K., which will be 17 percent by 2020.
Businesses set their prices to be competitive. The U.S. has to set its business rate to compete, as well. The high corporate tax rate is not just a Wall Street problem; it is a Main Street problem. Business entities do not pay taxes; people do.
The burden of the corporate tax rate falls on three categories of people: shareholders, customers, and employees. Corporations do not pay taxes; we do.
This bill helps companies compete, hire more people, and give them a more competitive wage. This bill gives individuals more money to spend on what they want, not what the government wants. This bill simplifies the Tax Code for hardworking Americans.
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this historic reform so more Americans can choose where their money goes, not Washington. Mr. Speaker, I urge passage of H.R. 1.
Mr. NEAL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman fromAlabama (Ms. Sewell), a Marshall Scholar and attorney.
Ms. SEWELL of Alabama. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge my colleagues to reject this misguided and mean-spirited tax bill that is being rushed through this Congress today. Mr. Speaker, this Republican sham tax bill picks winners and losers. The winners under this tax bill are corporations, Wall Street fat cats, the top 1 percent of the highest wage earners in America, and the special interests. The losers are the middle class, working families, students, the most vulnerable in our society, and our farmers.
Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record a letter from the National Farmers Union, which objects to this bill.
National Farmers Union, November 14, 2017.
Congressional Tax Plans Jeopardize the Farm Safety Net, CBO Analysis Says
For Immediate Release.
Contact: Andrew Jerome.
Washington.–Amidst the steepest drop in farm profitability in a generation, U.S. Congressional leadership is proposing tax reform legislation that would jeopardize all funding for farm bill commodity safety net programs.
The two tax bills being considered in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives would add $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit. According to new Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bills, that $1.5 trillion deficit increase would need to be offset by eliminating all funding for vital farm programs such as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), among other mandatory federal spending programs.
“If Congress passes legislation that increases the deficit, they will subsequently be forced to cut federal spending. In the case of the tax bill, current law could require 100 percent sequestration of all commodity program payments and other farm bill programs,” said National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson “Tax cuts for the highest income brackets should absolutely not come at the expense of programs that protect our nation’s family farmers and ranchers.”
The House and Senate budget resolution that was passed earlier this year paves the way for tax cuts that would increase the U.S. federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over ten years Statutory pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rules require that increases in deficit spending be offset by reduced spending across non-exempt mandatory programs The government would be required to cut such programs by $150 billion per year in accordance with PAYGO.
The total available pool of funding across all non-exempt mandatory programs amounts to, in CBO’s estimation, “only between $85 billion to $90 billion,” meaning that all impacted mandatory spending programs other than Medicare, including the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), would be entirely stripped of funding.
The CCC is the second largest non-exempt mandatory program, after Medicare It funds dairy and other farm program payments, including ARC and PLC, both of which are critical for keeping family farmers and ranchers in business during times of economic uncertainty. Discretionary spending and a number of mandatory programs, including Social Security, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), federal crop insurance, and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), are exempt from PAYGO.
“Farmers Union has long opposed using budget sequestration to reduce the federal deficit, especially through cuts to agricultural programs,” added Johnson. “This proposal asks farmers and ranchers to trade any possible tax benefits for the elimination of farm safety net payments, like ARC and PLC. That would be a disastrous trade. NFU continues to advocate for a simplified, progressive tax code that does not risk programs vital to the livelihoods and well-being of American family farmers and ranchers.”
Ms. SEWELL of Alabama. These are the very same people that this
President promised to benefit. This is what this bill does for corporate America: It dramatically cuts rates from the largest companies in the world, moving the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.
It creates loopholes for wealthy individuals to recharacterize their wage income as small business income so that they can pay less in taxes. It repeals the alternative minimum tax, which captures the tax liabilities for wealthy individuals. In fact, the only tax return that we have ever seen of Mr. Trump was his 2005 tax return in which he had to pay $38 million. Why? Because of AMT.
And this tax bill will also permanently repeal the estate tax, which only affects 5,500 households in America. And I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, none of those households are in my district.
In contrast, how will this tax bill impact the middle class? Mr. Speaker, 36 million middle class households will pay more taxes. One in four taxpayers will pay more taxes.
To pay for the corporate tax cuts, this bill will hurt working families. It will eliminate deductions on interest on student loans. It will eliminate medical expense deductions, which many, many households use to pay for long-term care needs. It will eliminate the lifetime learning credit. And it will also do away with deductions for families that pay for daycare and aging parents.
Mr. Speaker, this is not comprehensive tax reform. The American people deserve better, and we as a Congress can do better. Please reject this bill.
Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Messer).
Mr. MESSER. Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman Brady for his leadership. Today is a huge victory for working Americans. Today, we take a giant step forward to deliver more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks for working Hoosiers. This bill will create thousands of jobs in Indiana, and it will give the typical working family a $1,500 tax cut.
The Trump tax plan also includes a provision that I authored to stop $4 billion to $7 billion in refundable child tax credits paid out to illegal immigrants each year. These savings help expand the child tax credit for working American families by $600 per child. Hoosiers get it: no one should get a tax incentive to violate the law. I urge all of my colleagues to support this plan. It will give working Hoosiers a pay raise, bring back jobs from overseas, and get our economy moving again. I also urge the Senate to act and keep their promise to the American people.
Mr. NEAL. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Lewis) for the purpose of a unanimous consent request. (Mr. LEWIS of Georgia asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. LEWIS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record an article about this bill’s impact on graduate students in my district.
[From the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Nov. 16, 2017]
Opinion: Only Wealthy Can Afford Grad School Under House Tax Plan Up For Vote Today
(By Maureen Downey)
Jenny C. Bledsoe is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in English at Emory University, specializing in medieval literature. She was featured in a New York Times story last week that examined how the GOP House tax plan would impact a range of American students. In this essay, Bledsoe focuses on the change that makes graduate tuition waivers taxable income.
The tax plan is expected to come to the House floor today where passage is predicted. The Senate, however, is not expected to take up its own tax bill until after Thanksgiving. And then House and Senate conferees will have to hammer out their differences and come up with a compromise plan.
Under the House plan, Bledsoe and other doctoral students would be hurt by a new provision that would tax graduate students on tuition wavers granted them in exchange for working as teaching assistants or researchers. The tax accountants hired by The New York Times estimated Bledsoe and her husband would pay an additional $7,194 in taxes under the House tax bill.
When I about this last week, some readers contended the increase in the standard deduction will offset the eliminations of these education deductions. However, some reviews found that not to be true for graduate students.
(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)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 11)