In spite of losing control of the US House of Representatives to the Democrats, Republican members have not given up on their convictions that more needs to be done to lower taxes, improve retirement, and enhance oversight on the IRS and other aspects of the federal government.
This week, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) has released a tax and oversight package that includes the Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018 and the Taxpayer First Act of 2018. This package includes retirement and other savings enhancements, legislation to redesign the Internal Revenue Service, and temporary tax relief for victims of the wildfires in California and for communities impacted by Hurricanes Florence and Michael and by storms and volcanoes in the Pacific. The package also addresses the tax extenders, and includes some time-sensitive technical corrections to H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Upon release of the package, Chairman Brady made the following statement:
“This broad, bipartisan package builds on the economic successes we continue to see throughout our country. The policy proposals in this package have support of Republicans and Democrats in both chambers. I look forward to swift action in the House to send these measures to the Senate.”
Yesterday, Chairman Brady made the following compelling case for the package:
“Chairman Sessions, Ranking Member McGovern, and Members of the Rules Committee, thank you for allowing me to testify before you today on this important, bipartisan package.
“And I especially want to thank you, Chairman Sessions, for your over 20 years of service to our great state of Texas in the people’s House.
“The United States economy is booming.
“Unemployment is at its lowest level since 1969, GDP is clocking in at 3 percent year-over-year, and wages are rising at their fastest pace in a decade.
“It is imperative that we work together to keep our economy moving forward.
“Which is why I introduced this package of tax and oversight policies to ensure we continue to build on this economic success.
“Each of these proposals have received the support of Republicans and Democrats in both the House and the Senate – this bill will make a big impact for our communities nationwide.
“First, this package will help our families save more and earlier throughout their lives.
“It also makes it easier for employers to offer their workers retirement plans.
“Additionally, working in a bipartisan manner with the Senate, we’ve reached solid common ground on our efforts to redesign the IRS.
“Our IRS redesign, led by Lynn Jenkins of Kansas and John Lewis of Georgia, received near unanimous support in the House earlier this year.
“It’s time to send these reforms to the President’s desk to ensure that the IRS is an agency with one singular mission: quality taxpayer service.
“Without a doubt, it has been a tough couple of years for America when it comes to natural disasters.
“We’ve seen cities in Texas, California, the Carolinas, and dozens of other places absolutely destroyed by wildfires and hurricanes.
“Coming from Houston, who is still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, I can say first hand that rebuilding is tough. Communities can’t do it alone.
“Which is why this legislation offers temporary tax relief to families and cities that have been impacted by the wildfires in California.
“It also helps those hit by Hurricanes Michael and Florence, as well as by storms and volcanoes in the Pacific.
“Our bill will allow victims to immediately access funds from their retirement accounts penalty-free – assisting our workers and families with the costs of recovery and rebuilding.
“This package also ensures that losses from these disasters will be deductible.
“Additionally, this bill gives our small businesses a hand in keeping their employees on their payroll as these communities work to surmount these tragic disasters.
“Together, we can – and will – help these communities rebuild.
“Temporary tax policy is hardly ever good policy. Our tax code needs to reflect that.
“This bill includes some permanent resolutions to these ‘extenders’ – an incredibly important step forward in providing certainty for our local job creators.
“Finally, working closely with the public and Members on both sides of the aisle, we’ve identified minor technical corrections to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“Technical corrections are a very normal part of the legislative process. These minor but important changes ensure our new tax code works as intended.
“In closing, I want to reiterate that these policy proposals have the support of Republicans and Democrats in both chambers.
“This package will have a meaningful impact for families and businesses across the country.
“I look forward to swift action in the House so we can send these measures to the Senate soon.”