“We’ve gone from a country asking, ‘Where are the jobs?’ to one asking, ‘Where are the workers?’”

Brady Touts Economic Gains of the Past Year

WASHINGTON, DC – Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (TX-8) appeared before a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society yesterday morning, delivering remarks about the economic gains that have occurred as a result of the historic tax reform plan that was signed into law last December, and the new tax relief bill he just introduced that he is working to pass before the end of the year.

“The best is yet to come,” Brady stated, referring to the Tax Cut and Jobs Act that was enacted last year and the positive impact the measure has had on the economy. “This was designed for the long run.  We wanted to influence the location decisions — where companies make the investment, do the research, do the manufacturing, put their facility, and locate their jobs. And there’s no question — things have changed in a major way.”

Recalling a recent visit he made to a medical company in Boston, the veteran lawmaker continued: “They’re working on their fourth medical breakthrough, and their CEO said, ‘For us, everything’s changed.  We’re not going to do our research in London. We’re going to do it here in the United States.  Our patents — we’re not keeping them in Ireland. We feel comfortable bringing them back.  And if we can find the workers, we’re going to do our manufacturing here in New England, not overseas.’”

“We’re hearing that all throughout the country,” Brady said. “In California, tech companies and bio companies are saying for the first time, ‘We can put our facilities where we want them. The old tax code told us where we couldn’t put them. The new one tells us we can put them where they make sense, including here in United States.’”

Brady was elected to Congress in 1996 and has served as Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee since November 2015.  As head of the tax writing panel, he was the principal architect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  He remains one of the leading advocates for the plan and how it has benefitted the American economy – and the American worker – today.  Those benefits include:

  • Creating more than 2,100,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
  • Increasing wages and salaries by 3.1 percent — the highest level in a decade.
  • Reducing unemployment to its lowest level since 1969.
  • Boosting consumer confidence to an 18-year high.

“We’ve gone from a country asking, ‘Where are the jobs?’ to one asking, ‘Where are the workers?’” Brady remarked.  “There’s nowhere we can go in this country where businesses aren’t starved.”

Pointing to one of the challenges facing employers – and policymakers — in the year ahead, he added:  “Our workforce is going to become the number one economic issue in the country because it is holding back our economic growth.  Businesses are leaving work and projects off the table because they simply cannot find the workforce.”

In addition to discussing the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in his remarks, Brady also talked about the new tax relief bill he introduced last week and why he believes it is important to approve the measure before the end of the year.

“The tax bill we filed pulls together some of the most bipartisan measures we’ve got and pairs them with crucial disaster relief for Hurricanes Michael and Florence, and for the wildfires in California,” he said.  “Seventeen thousand homes and businesses have been lost.  There have been 80 deaths. We’ve got to move fast to start the tax relief and disaster relief for them. That’s really critical.”

Brady also touched on some of the specific provisions in the tax relief proposal, including a “New Baby Savings” option designed to help new parents.

“When you welcome that new baby or, in our case, when you adopt that new baby,” he stated, “if you’ve got medical costs or extra expenses or if you simply want to stay home with them for a month or two, for the first time you will be able to access your savings temporarily to do that.  And you’ll be able to replenish it without cost. This is a really family friendly provision.”

Brady concluded his remarks by talking about another issue facing his committee and the country – trade.

“I’m working with the Administration right now to wrap up the text and get ready for what we hope will be a signing on the U.S., Canada, and Mexico agreement later this week,” the Texas Republican stated.  “The USTR is continuing to work through some issues.  I don’t anticipate a vote in the lame duck.  Our new trade rules slow down this process, make it more open and transparent, and provide a lot more time for comment both at home and here.  So, it is just not technically possible or politically possible in the lame duck. It’s not unusual for a major trade agreement to be signed in one session and taken up in the next. In fact, that was the case with the original NAFTA process as well.

“There are going to be changes with Democrats taking over the House.  You are going to see a much stronger focus on enforcement on the labor issues, and they may want an expansion on environmental type of issues. So we’re going to have a challenge going forward in 2019. I don’t think they know yet what their position is going to be on this new agreement. But I know, too, that it’s incredibly helpful for USTR to not just be rewriting the existing agreements with Korea, Mexico, and Canada, but to be striking new ones, as well. So I think it really is important that we start these discussions after the first of the year with Japan and with Europe, which I think will be a two-tiered approach … It’s hard to know with the Brexit stuff, but it is time to go on offense on trade.”

To view Brady’s remarks before The Ripon Society breakfast discussion yesterday morning, please click on the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.