House Republicans Unveil Tax Reform Plan

Washington — This morning, the House Ways and Means Committee released preliminary legislative text of a sweeping overhaul of America’s long outdated tax code. Similar to the framework announced in September, the plan would slash the corporate and pass-through rates by 15 percentage points each, simplify the individual tax code by moving from seven brackets to four, nearly double the standard deduction, and provide temporary expensing for capital investments. Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“At first glance, the preliminary text released today has the potential to unleash economic growth, create American jobs, increase wages for American workers, allow families to keep more of their hard-earned money, and make U.S. businesses competitive across the globe. Heritage Action applauds President Trump, Chairman Brady and congressional leaders for producing a serious plan to fundamentally reform a stagnant and convoluted tax code that suppresses American job creators and workers.

“Many of the concessions made in the proposal are the direct result of self-serving special interests groups like the National Association of Realtors and a small group of lawmakers placing parochial interests above the nation’s interests. As Heritage Action reviews the text and subsequent revisions, it is imperative the administration and congressional leaders work hand-in-hand with conservatives to make improvements where possible.

“One improvement would be the elimination of Obamacare’s individual mandate tax penalty. As the Trump administration and congressional Republicans work to deliver tax relief to the American people, they should also ensure they are not forced to pay a penalty to the IRS for not buying unaffordable and unworkable health insurance. This once in a generation opportunity to unleash economic growth, create jobs and increase wages cannot be squandered.”

The Heritage Foundation released the following statement from tax policy analyst Adam Michel:

“The details of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act released today by the House Ways and Means Committee include some of the essential components of pro-growth tax reform. As it currently stands, the plan would significantly lower business tax rates and provide temporary expensing for new capital investments. These components would be a boost for working Americans who will see increased wages and greater job opportunities. The plan also takes huge strides in simplifying the tax code by lowering tax rates for a majority of Americans, reducing the use of itemized deductions, and significantly scaling back the state and local tax deduction which vastly benefits the wealthiest Americans.

“Future changes and amendments to this tax legislation have the opportunity to further increase the pro-growth potential of tax reform. Congress should turn its focus to expanding and making expensing permanent, fully eliminating the property tax deduction, eliminating the additional fourth tax bracket, and limiting the scope of the new international minimum tax. Pro-growth tax reform is critical to unleash the U.S. economy and strengthen workers’ wages and job opportunities. While the Ways and Means proposal is a big step in the right direction, Congress has the chance to improve the tax plan to further enhance the proposed reforms’ benefits for all Americans.”