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Hatch: Tax Reform Has Been “Years in the Making”
Utah Senator says, “This bill is going to put another $2,200 in the pockets of the typical American family… boost the economy, grow jobs and…unleash the American spirit.”
WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) spoke on the Senate floor today about the historic nature of last week’s Senate passage of his bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“That bill spent years in the making,” Hatch said in a speech on the Senate floor. “As my chief legislative focus for many years, tax reform was not some off-the-cuff effort…[W]e have been researching, holding dozens of hearings, commissioning bipartisan working groups, and working with our friends on the other side of the Capitol and down the street at the White House for some time now. This bill is going to put another $2,200 in the pockets of the typical American family. This bill is going to boost the economy, grow jobs, and finally help end the wage stagnation we’ve been faced with for years. This bill is going to unleash the American spirit; bringing businesses back home where they started, and encouraging other businesses to both come from abroad, as well as to grow from within. Once again, America is open for business.”
Hatch’s full remarks can be found below:
Mr. President, last week the Senate came another step closer to providing real tax-relief to the middle class and providing a much-needed boost to our economy.
Yes, I’m talking about the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
That bill spent years in the making. As my chief legislative focus for many years, tax reform was not some off-the-cuff effort. No, we have been researching, holding dozens of hearings, commissioning bipartisan working groups, and working with our friends on the other side of the Capitol and down the street at the White House for some time now.
This bill is going to put another $2,200 in the pockets of the average American family. This bill is going to boost the economy, grow jobs, and finally help end the wage stagnation we’ve been faced with for years. This bill is going to unleash the American spirit; bringing businesses back home where they started, and encouraging other businesses to both come from abroad, as well as to grow from within.
Once again, America will be open for business.
I have not been alone in this process though; not by a long shot. In fact, tax reform has been a priority for many of my colleagues, including some that are no longer serving. I’m talking, of course, about people like Congressman Dave Camp and Senator Max Baucus, who did a lot to move this effort forward. I feel gratified to have been here and to have worked with my colleagues to get this far.
As efforts this year began in earnest, we set out to build on the work of our former colleagues and to give low- and middle-income Americans some much-needed relief and to give our country an opportunity to compete in the global economy. Our bill will do that.
But, as we all know, these great reforms are not quite yet promised to the American people.
There is still work to do as we work to iron-out our differences with the House and make sure that every section in this bill is ready to be passed into law. That said, I think we deserve to celebrate a little, and more importantly, to thank everyone for their work to get us to this point.
So many people, both in and out of Congress have worked hard to get us this far, and I want to express my appreciation for their efforts. Of course, I can’t thank everyone in a single floor speech, but I do want to thank some who may be within earshot of this chamber.
First and foremost, I need to thank Secretary Mnuchin and Director Cohn for their commitment to this effort and their help in getting it done. It is good to finally have an administration that is willing to lead out on tax reform. I also want to thank the distinguished Majority Leader who also did so much to secure the details of the bill and shepherd it through the Senate.
Furthermore, I want to thank Chairman Brady and Speaker Ryan over in the House of Representatives. They too have been great partners and leaders in this endeavor.
I also need to thank the staff from the Leader’s office, including Sharon Soderstrom, Brendan Dunn, Antonia Ferrier, Hazen Marshall, Erica Suares, Terry Van Doren, Don Stewart, and Jane Lee.
And, of course, I want to thank the members of the Senate Finance Committee, who put in countless days, weeks, and months in preparing this legislation and helping to get it passed. All of our majority members contributed greatly to this process, and I am most grateful.
I also want to thank the tax legislative assistants from each of the committee members who helped to craft this bill, namely, Chris Allen, Sam Beaver, Joseph Boddicker, Chris Conlin, Shay Hawkins, Randy Herndon, Bart Massey, Monica McGuire, Mike Quickel, Zachary Rudisill, Andrew Siracuse, Robert Sneeden, Derek Theurer, and Mark Warren, all of whom did an outstanding job in helping us to produce this bill.
I also want to thank the committee’s legislative directors: Charles Cogar, Ken Flanz, Chris Gillott, Brad Grantz, Amber Kirchhoefer, Kurt Kovarik, Jessica McBride, Sarah Paul, Landon Stropko, Jay Sulzmann, Stephen Tausend, Pam Thiessen, and Christopher Toppings.
In addition to all of the Senators and Staff on the Finance Committee, I need to thank some others. As we all know, this process has been a joint effort with our friends on the Budget Committee, and I need to thank Senator Enzi, once again, for his leadership on that committee to give us the reconciliation instruction that made this all possible. Additionally, I’d like to thank members of his staff, including: Joe Brenckle, Jim Neill, Betsy McDonnell, Matt Giroux, Paul Vinovich, Becky Cole, Eric Ueland, Thomas Fueller, and the rest of the Budget Committee Team.
Closer to home, I want to thank the staff of the Finance Committee, who have done so much of the heavy lifting here. I need to single out Mark Prater, my chief tax counsel, who has served the committee for decades and whose knowledge and expertise on these matters is recognized by everyone here; and by pretty much everyone everywhere else. I also want to express my thanks to the rest of my committee tax staff: Jennifer Acuña, Tony Coughlan, Christopher Hanna, Alex Monié, Eric Oman, Marty Pippins, Preston Rutledge, and Nick Wyatt.
Additionally, I need to thank my staff director, Jay Khosla, who quarterbacked the staff through this whole ordeal and who has spent many years with me as we’ve laid the groundwork and started construction on this undertaking. I want to thank the other members of my senior team as well, including Matt Hoffmann, Jeff Wrase, Julia Lawless, Jennifer Kuskowski, Chris Armstrong, and Bryan Hickman. And, I need to thank the communications staff on the committee: Katie Niederee, Nicole Hager, and Joshua Blume.
I also need to thank a couple of former staff members. Chris Campbell, my former staff director, who worked for years on this effort, and while he’s now at Treasury, I’m sure he’s celebrating right along with us. I’d also like to give a thank you to Jim Lyons, my tax counsel who, unfortunately, passed away a little over a year ago. He contributed greatly to this effort for a number of years and his steady presence has definitely been missed.
Other bodies deserve our thanks as well. Tom Barthold and his team at the Joint Committee on Taxation made themselves available at all hours to help us get the bill written and ready to pass. As did the staff at the Legislative Counsel’s office, led by Mark McGunagle and Jim Fransen, as well as those who work with Elizabeth MacDonough in the Parliamentarian’s office.
I am so grateful to all of you for your sacrifices and talents that have allowed us to craft this impressive package. Unfortunately, though, there are too many people to thank in a single floor speech.
So please, let me express my gratitude to the countless individuals who have helped in this endeavor over the years. This would not have been possible without you.
Before I close, I’d like to reiterate that we’re not yet there though. I know that I will not rest, and that I can count on the rest of you to keep going until we’ve got this over the finish line.
We are so close to finally giving the American people the tax code and, in turn, the economic growth not only they, but their children and grandchildren deserve. It is my solemn commitment to keep working and get this done. For all of us.
With that, Mr. President, I yield the floor.
Click here to view the speech.
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