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Congressman Biggs' Letter to Speaker Ryan and Chairman Brady on suggested changes to tax reform package

November 7, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congressman Andy Biggs transmitted a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, outlining three suggested changes to the tax reform package.

Read the full text of the letter:

November 7, 2017

The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House of Representatives
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Kevin Brady
Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means
1102 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Speaker Ryan and Chairman Brady:

I am encouraged and excited that we have come together as a chamber to draft a comprehensive tax reform package that will grow the economy and provide years of benefits to individuals, households, and small businesses alike. However, like any major legislation, I believe the current draft can be improved upon. To that end, I am urging House Leadership and the Ways and Means Committee to make the following three important changes to the tax reform package.

First and most important, we should implement all tax rate reductions and other provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) retroactive to January 1, 2017. While I appreciate that filers will see immediate benefits arising from decreased withholding in their paychecks already by January 2018, these same taxpayers will also not fail to notice that their respective tax burdens have not decreased. Needless to say, the political fallout for Republicans could be dire.

Delaying the tax cuts may also slow our nation's economy. Since President Trump took office in January, our nation has seen three consecutive quarters of economic growth in excess of 3 percent. By applying full retroactivity to this tax reform package and returning more hard-earned money back to individuals and small businesses to spend or invest as they see fit, we will be in the best position possible to capitalize on the enormous economic growth of the past few months. And the budget hawks need not even be concerned: history has shown again and again that the stimulus brought by tax relief pays for itself, especially when the overall economy is robust.

Second, we should reduce the rates of all tax brackets, including the top 39.6 percent rate, and eliminate the punitive "bubble tax" on high earners. If we are truly committed to comprehensive tax reform, then all Americans should benefit, including the wealthy. While these individuals make up a small percentage of the population, they contribute enormously to the overall economy. Many of these individuals are successful small business owners who create jobs; all of them are significant consumers and investors. We should not penalize or alienate those who have been financially successful: by doing so, we are only buying into the mantra of "class warfare" and betraying bedrock Republican principles.

Third and finally, we should maintain the adoption tax credit. This is a moral responsibility for our pro-life, pro-family party. Encouraging adoption discourages abortion: that simple cause-and-effect is very clear. Additionally, by encouraging adoption we ensure that children throughout the country are given the opportunity to live in a permanent home with a loving family. That is a noble goal, and the families who often make significant sacrifices of time and resources to achieve it should receive some relief for their efforts.

As we engage in all efforts to amend Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the coming days, it would be a mistake to chain ourselves to the vague and arbitrary requirement that this tax package must be "revenue neutral." A combination of pro-growth tax cuts, dynamic scoring, and reductions in our out-of-whack federal spending will together bring our nation into a healthy fiscal balance. While I realize that we are operating in the arcane world of reconciliation in order to pass this tax reform package, we simply cannot allow the unelected Senate parliamentarian to constrain our efforts to achieve as much as possible from this once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform our antiquated tax code.

Although the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a worthy effort, I believe the changes I have outlined would make this tax package even stronger. Please reach out to me or my staff should you have further questions or need additional information.


Andy Biggs
Member of Congress