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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 185 (Monday, November 13, 2017)]
[Pages S7169-S7170]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO

                               TAX REFORM

Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, for too long many in America's middle-class families felt left behind by the Obama economy. Paychecks seemed to stagnate, good-paying jobs seemed harder to find, and opportunities seemed difficult to come by.

Our country can do better for hard-working families, and that is exactly what we are working to deliver as we continue our efforts to pass tax reform. It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and it is the most important thing we can do today to get our economy really growing again and going again.

Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee passed its proposal to lower taxes and to boost economic growth. I would like to commend Chairman Brady for his efforts to get the bill approved by the Committee and to the floor of the House.

Here in the Senate, we also remain focused on tax reform this week. Today, the Finance Committee began its mark-up of the tax reform proposal released last week. Under the leadership of Chairman Hatch, the committee will consider this plan that really has been many years and dozens of hearings in the making.

The Finance Committee's tax plan will help hard-working Americans keep more of their own money. It will help create more jobs here at home, and it will help increase opportunities for the middle class. Consider this from a recent news report titled: “Middle class biggest winners in Senate tax plan, study says.” “Moderate-income people would consistently see the largest percentage declines in their tax bills,” the article says, “according to an analysis released late Saturday by the official, nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.” “In 2019,” the article continues, “people in the middle of the income spectrum earning, between $50,000 and [$75,000], would see their taxes fall by 7.1 percent. Those earning between $20,000 and $30,000 would see a 10.4 percent decline.”

Here is another recent article, titled: “Senate bill would cut taxes by $1.78 trillion, create [925,000] new jobs, study finds.”

The article noted that the Finance Committee's bill “would boost the economy, creating 925,000 new jobs and raising wages by 2.9 percent over 10 years, according to a new analysis released Thursday by the Tax Foundation.” According to that study, families in my home State of Kentucky can see a boost to after-tax incomes for middle-income families,” of nearly $2,000.

Earlier today, I had an opportunity to meet with a number of Kentucky small business owners and workers to hear from them about the importance of tax reform. We discussed how this effort can help provide relief to small businesses and middle-class families by making taxes lower, simpler, and fairer. Tax reform can help provide real relief to families and small businesses that felt left behind by our economy.

The proposal that the committee will take up today is the product of years of listening to people across the country who are calling out for relief. It is from careful study of our current Tax Code, understanding what it gets right and what it too often gets wrong. [[Page S7170]]

The Senate's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act represents the consensus views of the Finance Committee members and it reflects the values shared by the House, the Senate, and the Trump administration, put forward in our unified framework earlier this year. Chairman Hatch has shown impressive leadership to craft this proposal, and I look forward to his continued guidance of the committee under regular order.

Today, members will have the opportunity to give opening statements and provide their insights on the proposal. During this process, the committee will consider amendments from both sides. As of this morning, more than 300 amendments have been filed by both Republican and Democrat members. Additionally, all Senators will have the chance to share their opinions here on the Senate floor. This is an open process.

It is time to reform our Tax Code and provide much needed relief to the hard-working men and women of this country. The Finance Committee's proposal would do just that.

In a related action this week, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Murkowski, will begin to mark up legislation supporting our Nation's energy security. Further developing Alaska's oil and gas potential in an environmentally responsible way is an important effort to help create new jobs, generate new wealth, and provide for our energy future and energy security.

These committee markups are positive steps toward growing our economy and helping the middle class. ____________________

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