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Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act (Part 2)

congressional Record - Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 2

(Continued From Part 1)

What did we discover in the aftermath of that?

Almost 20,000 layoffs in the weeks after it. The money was used for stock buybacks and dividends with no employment gains across the country.They keep telling us: Well, you are going to get 3 percent, 4 percent, 5 percent, and the President says 6 percent growth. I want to find that economist who says we are going to get 6 percent growth. Most projections are that we are being asked here today to participate in the following, because this is the context of the argument this morning: They are borrowing $2.3 trillion over 10 years for the purpose of giving a tax cut to people at the very top of our economic system.

We should be investing in human capital, community colleges, vocational education, internship programs, and aligning the American people with the skill sets that are necessary, as the Department of Labor reported this week, for the 6 million jobs that are available. That is the most gainful way to do long-term investment. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I would note that a family of four in Massachusetts’ First District will see a tax cut of nearly $2,000 under this bill.

Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from Kansas (Ms. Jenkins), one of our key leaders on the Ways and Means Committee who is really all in on growth and savings for America.

 Ms. JENKINS of Kansas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Mr. Speaker, as a CPA and a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, reforming our Tax Code has been a priority of mine during my entire service here in Congress. Our current Tax Code is broken, and I have heard from thousands of Kansans in my district who are frustrated with the status quo. This legislation will not only reform our broken Tax Code, but it will permanently lower rates for hardworking individuals, families, and businesses while retaining or expanding many popular provisions, such as the dependent care assistance program. It also includes strong safeguards that keep the wealthy from gaming the system in an effort to pay less than their fair share. On average, this legislation will help provide tax relief for all income groups across the board. If you don’t believe me, read the analysis from the Tax Foundation and the Joint Committee on Taxation. They agree.

While individuals and families receive a much-needed tax break, they will also notice that their wages are going up and more jobs are being created. Just the other day, AT&T announced they will be making a substantial investment in the United States once we enact tax reform.

Folks are tired of the status quo. They are tired of a Tax Code that is confusing. Once figured out, you realize that it actually penalizes hard work and success. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act accomplishes our goals of ensuring that rates are cut for low- and middle-income Americans, simplifying the tax system and expanding American competition within the global economy.

This is a rare opportunity to enact the kind of legislation that our constituents need and deserve to grow the economy and put more money in the pockets of hardworking Kansans.

Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman and the entire committee for their good work on this important legislation.

Mr. NEAL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Levin), who has a long and distinguished history in this Congress and as a member of the Ways and Means Committee.(Mr. LEVIN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding and for all of his work he has done over the years. The Republican tax bill is built on massive deception. The deception is that, as the Speaker put it: “The focus is on middle class tax relief.” That is simply not true. As the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation said, roughly one out of every four Americans with income between $50,000 and $100,000 would pay higher taxes in 2023, far overshadowing the $1,000 or so for other families. In 2019, those earning over $1 million would get an average tax cut of $73,000. Even as modified in last-minute desperation, the wealthiest would receive 90 percent of the new tax break for so-called pass-through income.

Another deception is that tax breaks pay for themselves. On this, some people may have been in the past fooled once, fewer twice, but none thrice. A further deception is that exploding the deficit and national debt to $1.7 trillion will disappear as it promotes growth. Not only is this a 180-degree Republican turn, but it threatens Medicare and other critical programs and will worsen the vast inequalities in income and wealth in America. It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. In this case, Republican political necessity is the mother of desperation and deception.

Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I have a note that the average family of four in Michigan’s Ninth District will receive a tax cut of over $1,700. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Holding), one of our key leaders on the Ways and Means Committee, who serves on the Tax Policy Subcommittee.

Mr. HOLDING. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be here today to support this historic bill that will put our economy back on the path to stable and sustained growth. This bill finally levels the playing field and restores the global competitiveness of American businesses by moving to a territorial system. This key aspect of our bill removes the punitive barriers of the current worldwide system and allows companies to reinvest their overseas profits in America, without fear of getting hit with an excessive tax burden. This important change ensures that America remains the best place to start, grow, or invest in a business. As companies begin to see the benefits of this new territorial system, I look forward to continuing to work with the chairman to explore ways to move toward a residency-based taxation system to ensure that American citizens have a level playing field around the global as well. I have heard from companies, American companies, that say as they expand their operations overseas, the Tax Code has made it prohibitive for them to hire Americans for these jobs. In fact, our current system of citizenship-based taxation makes Americans nearly 40 percent more expensive to employ overseas than their foreign counterparts.

Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman very much for his understanding of this issue and look forward to our continued work to ensure that talent, not tax burden, is the driving factor in the hiring decisions of multinational companies. I am proud to support this bill. I look forward to it growing the economy and ensuring businesses of all sizes have the capital necessary to hire more employees, grow their operation, and give Americans the raise they deserve.

Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Holding) for his leadership on this issue, in particular, about international competitiveness for our workers. Residence-based taxation is an idea we should continue to explore. We will continue to work on this issue with him as leadership. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. NEAL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Lewis), who has the highest professional and personal esteem of every Member of this institution.

Mr. LEWIS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friend, Mr. Neal, for yielding.

I rise with a heavy heart to join him in opposing this mean-spirited, reckless bill. Mr. Speaker, 30 years ago, I was elected to fight for and to serve the people of my district. Today, they are calling and begging for us to slow down and to do this the right way. In their heart of hearts, the public knows that the safety net will be used to pay for this reckless corporate tax cut.

Taxpayers know that this shameful deal destroys the hopes and dreams of too many as it robs poor Peter to pay wealthy Paul. That is not right.  That is not fair. That is not just. Mr. Speaker, you cannot hide the truth from the sick, the elderly, the disabled for whom this bill may mean life or death. You cannot hide the truth from the middle class, working, and immigrant families who need every penny to make ends meet. You cannot hide the truth from teachers who try to lend a helping hand to students who struggle to get an education. I, for one, refuse to hide the truth about this bill’s attack on the separation of church and State.

Mr. Speaker, as we abandon our constitutional duty and sacrifice our moral authority, I fear that history will not be kind to any of us. In another time, in another period, Members of Congress came together in a bipartisan fashion. They met, debated, and passed a tax bill that served the best interest of all people–not just a select few. They took their time. They did it right, and we should be doing it right. Today, the Record must reflect the sad truth of this missed opportunity. H.R. 1 steals from our veterans, our seniors, our children, and from generations yet unborn All taxpayers expect, demand, and deserve better–much better–than legislation which would put politics before the good of the people.This bill is a shame, a disgrace, and honestly, Mr. Speaker, it breaks my heart. I urge each and every one of my colleagues to vote “no.’

Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that the average family of four in the Fifth District of Georgia will see a tax cut of $1,484.Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Bishop), one of the new members of the Ways and Means Committee who has really been a leader for families, small businesses, and industry.

Mr. BISHOP of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the chairman for yielding, for his steadfast leadership, and for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this incredible opportunity on behalf of this great country. Tax reform is about giving hardworking Americans of all walks of life the confidence they need to make their dreams a reality. So the question that needs to be asked is whether or not the current Tax Code, and all of its targeted tax credits, really increases people’s paychecks. Does it treat people fairly? Does it put American workers first? What about fostering economic growth? Does it help create more good-paying jobs? On that subject, I think Michigan is a great case study, my home State of Michigan. You see, I am from the Motor City where we are known for our blue-collar work ethic. Our families come from humble beginnings. They get up every morning and go to work to make ends meet to build a better life for their family and for their kids. We persevered through some pretty serious economic death spirals, I must say, and I would refer back to 2008 as an example. More than 8,000 people left our State. Just think about that. We are the only State in the Union to lose population–and more would have left if they had a chance to sell their homes.

(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)




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