House Ways and Means Committee leaders highlight benefits of tax reform

Leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee touted the unified tax reform framework unveiled on Wednesday as a strategy to achieve tax relief for middle-class families while spurring economic growth.

U.S. Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Pat Tiberi (R-OH) were among leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee who spent months working with the White House and the Senate Finance Committee on the tax reform framework.

“Our tax code is a mess,” Meehan said. “It’s riddled with overlapping and conflicting provisions that leave taxpayers frustrated and confused. Its rates are too high, and too many loopholes enable the elites to avoid them. It’s holding us back in the modern economy. Too much of a middle class family’s paycheck is going to Washington. A top-to-bottom rewrite is long overdue.”

To achieve middle-class tax relief, the framework calls for doubling the standard deduction for middle-income taxpayers, enhancing the child tax credit, maintaining tax incentives for mortgage payments and charitable donations, and consolidating the number of tax brackets by more than half.

“For some, it will be the difference between getting ahead or falling behind,” Meehan said. “We reduce the tax burden for many and enable more taxpayers to file with far less paperwork. All of these changes will mean Americans will keep more of what they earn — and paying what they owe will be less of a headache.”

The framework also calls for reducing the corporate tax rate to 20 percent and the top small business tax rate to 25 percent. It would also exempt the foreign profits of U.S. businesses from taxes if earnings are returned to the United States.

“This is an exciting week for Minnesota’s middle-class families and small businesses,” Paulsen said. “After more than three decades since the last major tax reform, the framework released (on Wednesday) outlines how fixing our broken tax code will lead to more jobs and bigger paychecks. Tax reform is about one thing: Restoring the hope of prosperity for American workers, their families, and, most importantly, the next generation.”

The framework, Tiberi added, would help all Americans, and those who feel they’ve been left behind in the uneven economic recovery over the last decade.

“We have more work to do to transition this framework into legislation,” Tiberi said. “During that process, it is one of my top priorities to ensure that tax reform includes tools that unleash economic growth and job creation in communities that need it the most. This is an historic opportunity to overhaul our code and identify solutions that work to fight poverty and ensure more people — no matter their background or zip code — are empowered to succeed.”