[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 185 (Monday, November 13, 2017)]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO
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.
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
These committee markups are positive steps toward growing our economy
and helping the middle class.