Ways and Means Chairman: GOP ‘Fully Committed’ to Tax Reform This Year

WASHINGTON – House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said Republicans are “fully committed” to passing “pro-growth” and “pro-jobs” tax reform “this year.”

“We can’t give up. We won’t give up. The American people are counting on us to persevere and to win, and together with their support, with your support, we will,” Brady said during an event at the Ronald Reagan Ranch in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Wednesday.

“We can cut all of these loopholes out. We can lower the tax rates for every family, for every business and for every neighborhood in America. We can vault America from nearly dead last in the world back into that lead pack as the best place on the planet for that next new job, next new plant and next new technology,” he added.

Brady expressed optimism that Congress can pass tax reform before the end of the year.

“Together, working with President Trump, Congress and the American people – I’m confident we can meet this challenge. We can rise to this challenge just as our nation has risen to and prevailed over so many challenges before in our history. I believe this with all my heart,” he said.

“We are fully committed to delivering pro-growth and pro-jobs tax reform this year and whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, if you are serious about delivering pro-growth tax reform to the American people this year, we’re serious about working with you,” he added.

Brady reflected on the last time Congress overhauled the tax code.

“Here we are 31 years later, facing a monumental challenge of our own: how to fix a tax code that is now just as broken as the one President Reagan and Congress fixed nearly three decades ago. If you look at today’s tax code, you can’t even recognize the principles that made the Reagan reforms such a triumph for the American people,” he said.

Brady said Ronald Reagan would be “pretty disappointed” in today’s tax code.

“Fairness has been replaced with favoritism for Washington’s special interests. Simplicity and certainty has been replaced with complexity and an incredible frustration from taxpayers who cannot hope to understand this big bloated tax code,” he said.

Brady argued that America’s international competitors, inspired by Reagan, have moved ahead of the U.S. by reforming their tax codes in “major strides” for the better while the U.S. government sat on the sidelines.

“They one-upped America by simplifying their tax codes so their businesses can compete around the world and create jobs locally. Through that, they have left America in their dust. Inspired by President Reagan, they are continuing to run ahead of us in tax reform,” he said.

Brady said jobs are moving overseas while the American people wait for tax reform from Congress. He signaled that Republicans in Congress are ready to work with Democrats to pass a comprehensive tax reform package.

“For the first time in 31 years, we have a White House, a House, and a Senate truly committed to fixing this broken tax code and providing relief for every family while growing jobs and growing paychecks and it will not be easy,” he said.

“I anticipate continuing to work through August with the White House and the Senate, bring forward a tax reform plan at the Ways and Means Committee after we return and move it forward on a timetable for delivery to the president’s desk this year,” he added.

Since President Reagan signed tax reform in 1986, Brady said the tax code has “tripled in size.”

“Once again we have all these lobbyist loopholes, all of these exclusions, deductions and carve-outs. Today our tax code is backed by powerful special interests who will fight tooth and nail to preserve their sweetheart deals – even if it means they bring tax reform down. We cannot let the status quo win,” he said. “We’re fighting for those Reagan principles of simplicity and fairness and growth and competition and more importantly we’re fighting for a better future for our children and grandchildren.”