The leading Republican on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following statement to open a full Committee Markup of Retirement, Tax Administration, and Reemployment Legislation:
CLICK HERE to watch the markup.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Chairman Neal, for calling today’s markup.
“This is our first legislative markup of the year in this Committee.
“I’m encouraged that we are moving early this Congress on bipartisan proposals that will continue to boost our growing economy.
“And I especially want to thank all the Members and staff who have worked tirelessly this year to get these important measures ready for Committee consideration.
“The time is ripe for these reforms.
“With wages continuing to rise for low-income workers, more job openings than there are workers to fill them, and financial optimism at all-time highs, all three of the bills we are considering today will help this economic success continue for years to come.
“With a new tax code, it is time for a new tax administrator.
“The Taxpayer First Act, led by Mike Kelly and Oversight Chairman John Lewis, are the first structural reforms to the Internal Revenue Service in over two decades.
“The House passed almost identical measures nearly unanimously multiple times last year.
“These reforms will transform the IRS into an agency with a singular mission: quality, taxpayer service.
“We are refocusing the agency to live up to its mission of serving taxpayers, improving information technology and cybersecurity, and reining in its enforcement powers to prevent future abuse.
“I’m glad that, working together in a bipartisan and bicameral fashion, we are able to move these important reforms forward.
“Additionally, we are considering the Setting Every Community up for Retirement Enhancement Act – or the SECURE Act.
“With the economy growing at its fastest pace in years, now is the perfect time to help folks save more and earlier for retirement.
“Similar legislation passed the House last year – with Democrat support – as part of our Tax Reform 2.0 package.
“This legislation we are considering today will help families ensure they have the flexibility and control over their savings to be prepared for whatever life throws their way.
“Mike Kelly and Ron Kind led the efforts of these reforms – and I’m optimistic that we will send this legislation to the President’s desk this year.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Chairman Neal on even more important reforms that will help workers save more and earlier for retirement.
“And finally, we are considering legislation to an make important, timely update to our nation’s unemployment insurance program.
“While I am disappointed the Committee did not exercise its jurisdiction over the UI provisions being considered on the House floor this week, I am proud that we are taking bipartisan action today to look out for workers.
“With a record number of job openings, we need to do all we can to ensure we are getting those laid off through no fault of their own back into the workforce as quickly as possible.
“The Building on Reemployment Improvements to Deliver Good Employment for Workers Act – or BRIDGE for Workers Act – is an important step forward in those efforts.
“In this bipartisan legislation – led by Committee Members Jackie Walorski, Darin LaHood, and Stephanie Murphy – we are building on the reemployment services offered by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.
“It does so by making permanent a technical correction we first made in FY 2019 appropriations.
“Clarifying that states have the flexibility to provide reemployment services and eligibility assessments not just to those likely to exhaust their unemployment benefits, but to all those where these services could help speed reemployment.
“Increasing states’ flexibility to determine who receives these services and when based on needs of their communities – instead of the needs of D.C. – is critical minimizing the disruption on their families.
“America needs these workers. Main Street needs these workers. Most importantly, children need to see their parents going to work – these reemployment services will help to make that happen sooner.
“Once again, I thank Chairman Neal for holding today’s markup and for working with Republicans on these important proposals.
“I am proud to support all these measures.
“And I look forward to continuing to work together throughout this Congress on bipartisan legislation that gives families and Main Street businesses the tools they need to succeed in today’s growing economy.”