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Hatch, Senate Republicans Make the Case for Tax Reform
Utah Senator Says, Senate Finance Committee Republicans, “Have Been Laser-Focused…on Reducing Taxes for the Middle-Class. And That is Exactly What This Bill Will Do”
SALT LAKE CITY — With congressional efforts to overhaul the nation’s broken tax code well underway, the Senate Finance Committee will begin its markup of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Monday. This week, Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) led a group of committee Republicans on the Senate floor to make the case for the pro-growth tax proposal, which is designed to provide fiscally responsible tax relief for the middle-class, bring down tax rates across the board and enhance America’s competitiveness to keep jobs and investment here at home. The group also met with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to discuss the importance of pro-growth, pro-jobs tax reform.
“[W]e have been laser-focused… on reducing taxes for the middle class,” Hatch said on the Senate floor. “And that is exactly what this bill will do. Combined, these changes to our broken tax code in the Chairman’s mark will give hardworking taxpayers across the country bigger paychecks and more opportunities. They will grow our economy, raising wages and improving the standard of living for all Americans. And, they will once again make America the best place in the world to create, grow, and keep a business; where we create more jobs and sustain a vibrant, growing economy.”
Joining him on the Senate floor were Majority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.), Sens. Grassley (R-Iowa), Cornyn (R-Texas), Thune (R-S.D.), Isakson (R-Ga.), Portman (R-Ohio), Toomey (R-Pa.), Scott (R-S.C.), Cassidy (R-La.).
Hatch’s full remarks may be found below:
Mr. President, today, as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, I am releasing a Chairman’s mark for the Senate version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, legislation that is the culmination of years of effort to reform our nation’s tax code.
We’ve been at this a long time. And, today marks a significant step forward in this effort.
While we refer to this document as a Chairman’s mark, it has really been a group effort, with significant input from all the Republican members of the Finance Committee and great work from all of our staff.
I want to thank everyone involved, for their hard work as well as their feedback, perspectives, advice, and ideas.
The last time Congress enacted a comprehensive overhaul of the tax code, back in 1986, President Reagan famously noted that the American people would finally have a tax code they could be proud of.
And, in 1986, that was likely true. At that time, updates to the tax code were necessary to keep pace with the technological and geopolitical changes our nation had been facing.
That sounds pretty familiar, Mr. President. It is, after all, what we’ve been saying for the last several years.
The world of 1986 was vastly different from the world we live in today. Advances in the past three decades have been monumental. Yet, our tax code has not advanced, and it is failing us.
The American people have dealt with years of stagnating wages, sluggishness in labor markets, and weak growth in the economy.
Businesses are fleeing our country to find more favorable conditions in other countries.
We’ve been working for years to address these issues and to meet the needs of the 21st Century global economy. Fortunately, we now find ourselves in a position to make good on all of these years of hard work.
A big part of that is the fact that our current president is fully engaged on tax reform, unlike his most recent predecessor.
So, we have been focused this year on providing middle class tax relief, reforming the business tax system, and fixing our obscenely outdated international tax regime.
The mark we’re releasing today will accomplish all of these goals, and more.
It will reduce individual rates across the board and direct substantial relief to low- and middle-income families and workers.
It will bring down corporate tax rates, a goal long shared by Republicans and Democrats, and provide businesses with new opportunities for growth and expansion.
And, it will modernize our international tax system, bringing to an end our worldwide tax regime, a relic that should have been retired many years ago.
But we have been laser-focused, Mr. President, on reducing taxes for the middle class. And that is exactly what this bill will do.
Combined, these changes to our broken tax code in the Chairman’s mark will give hardworking taxpayers across the country bigger paychecks and more opportunities.
They will grow our economy, raising wages and improving the standard of living for all Americans.
And, they will once again make America the best place in the world to create, grow, and keep a business; where we create more jobs and sustain a vibrant, growing economy.
I’ll have more to say on the specifics of the mark in the coming days, Mr. President. For now, I just want to give my colleagues on the Finance Committee an opportunity to share their thoughts on the step we’re taking today.
Before we get to that, I do want to acknowledge the elephants in the room. Only Republicans will be standing up today to speak in favor of the mark. And I expect we’ll hear some negative comments from our friends on the other side of the aisle soon enough.
On that point, I’ll just reiterate what I’ve said many times in the past: Our desire, from the outset of this endeavor, has been to have Democrats join us in this effort. I have personally invited my colleagues to come to the table, to share their views, and to work with us in good faith.
Yet, I expect that we’ll hear a lot about supposed process fouls in the coming days.
But, let me make it clear for anyone listening: As chairman of the Senate’s tax writing committee, I haven’t turned anyone away from the process. I haven’t refused to listen to anyone’s ideas or suggestions.
And I continue to say, with conviction, that I’m still willing to have them on board and hope that they’ll be willing to get on board and join us in this effort. A critical objective in the effort is to provide relief and support to the large swath of Americans in the middle-class who have been left behind—without economic gain or opportunities for growth.
Our tax reform efforts, represented in the Chairman’s mark put forward today, show that we are listening to those calling out for relief. We have an historic opportunity to help, and that opportunity should not be squandered by anyone on either side of the aisle for cheap political points.
With that, Mr. President, I’ll yield the floor.
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