Smith Says Tax Plan will Provide Relief to Farmers, Small Businesses, and Working Families

WASHINGTON, DC – Ways & Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-8) appeared before a luncheon meeting of The Ripon Society this past Monday, delivering remarks about the bipartisan tax relief plan he coauthored that was recently approved overwhelmingly by the U.S. House of Representatives, and how the plan was inspired by a series of field hearings the Committee held across America over the past year.

“The very first hearing that I had as Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee was in Petersburg, West Virginia,” Smith recalled.  “It was in a lumberyard where we heard from small business owners, working moms, and coal miners on the state of America’s economy in Appalachia. Then we went to Yukon, Oklahoma to a barn, and we heard from farmers and ranchers, oil and gas producers, and small business owners on the state of America’s economy in the heartland. We then went to Peachtree City, Georgia, to a factory where we heard from factory workers and small business owners on the state of America’s Economy in the South.”

The product of those hearings, Smith said, were three pieces of legislation approved by the Ways & Means Committee that were designed to address some of the concerns Committee members heard. After the bills were passed out of committee, Smith said he began working with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) on a bipartisan, bicameral plan that combined key elements from all three bills.

“I’ve enjoyed working with him,” Smith said of his negotiations with the Oregon Democrat.  “He’s a constructive progressive.  Our backgrounds are totally different; totally different people that we represent.  But we found some common ground.  And for months, we’ve been trying to negotiate this package. A lot of people didn’t see it because we didn’t do it in the press.  And it wasn’t until two weeks before Christmas that people [realized] there might be a tax package. But this was something that had been in the works that whole time.”

Called the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act, the bill will lock in over $600 billion in proven pro-growth tax policies with key provisions that support over 21 million jobs.  These provisions include:

  • Supporting working families with an enhanced Child Tax Credit
  • Expanding innovation and competitiveness with pro-growth economic policies like R&D expensing
  • Building up Main Street by cutting red tape and rebuilding communities struck by disasters with tax relief
  • Enhancing the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
  • Eliminating fraud and waste by ending the Employee Retention Tax Credit program

The House passed the legislation on January 31st by a vote of 357 to 70.

“Eighty-four percent of the House of Representatives voted for it,” Smith noted.  “It’s the most bipartisan tax package in decades, in the most divisive time in our country’s history. Plus, it’s an election year, which is even more difficult.  Hopefully, we can get it through the Senate, because this is a really good bill.  Everyone had to give and take.

“When we started out at the very beginning, Chairman Wyden wanted the American Rescue Plan Child tax credit, which cost $120 billion a year. The package that we passed is $11 billion a year on the child tax credit. They wanted to eliminate the work requirements. They wanted monthly checks. We said ‘no’ — it couldn’t happen. And so we retained the work requirements.”

Following his opening remarks, Smith was also asked a number of questions, including one about some of the obstacles he faced in moving this legislation forward and what, if anything, inspired him along the way.

“What keeps me motivated are people like Ashley Bachman, who owns Cheetah B’s Restaurant in Petersburg, West Virginia,” Smith stated.  “Those people who came to the field hearing and told me of the issues they were facing.  Understand that this package that we crafted is for small businesses.  It’s for farmers.  It’s for working families.

“What I’m fighting for are the people who sent me to Washington.  I said it in my very first press release after becoming Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.  My priorities are small businesses, working families and farmers.”

“That is what drives me. That’s why I’m here. I’m here to fight for the people in southeast Missouri. It’s the ninth poorest Congressional District in the nation.  Seventy-three thousand families in my District benefit from the child tax credit provisions. Think about that. Make sure you craft policy that benefits the people who send you to Washington … That’s what drives me.  And making sure my members succeed.”

To view Chairman Smith’s remarks before The Ripon Society this past Monday afternoon, please click 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.