Senate Majority Leader McConnell: We Should Strive for a Tax Code that Works for American Families, Creates Jobs

‘This year, we finally have the perfect opportunity to achieve that goal.  So, rather than engage in blind opposition for its own sake on yet another issue, I hope Democrats will instead take the kind of constructive approach we saw the last time our country enacted comprehensive tax reform.’

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks this week on the Senate floor regarding tax reform:

“As I outlined last week, during the Obama years the American people struggled with an economy that failed to meet its potential.  The slowest recovery since World War II. The middle class losing its historic status as the majority in our country.  Too many out of jobs and looking for work, too many giving up after years of fruitless searching, too many fortunate just to have a paycheck — but not one large enough to keep pace with ever-rising health costs and energy bills.  That is the Obama legacy on the economy.  Over eight long years of failed left-wing policies — on everything from regulations to taxes — a Democratic administration put on a virtual clinic in how not to get an economy moving again.

“No wonder the American people opted for a pro-growth direction in November.  Ever since, this Republican Congress has been working to get our economy moving again and to spur job creation.  Rather than bury our economy in an avalanche of red tape, like the last administration, it’s time for a new direction on regulations — smarter and pro-growth.  Already, we’ve taken action to kick-start those efforts, like passing important legislation to provide relief from Obama-era midnight regulations.  Rather than make our tax code more complex and punitive, like the last administration, we think it’s time for a new direction on taxes — simpler and pro-jobs.

“Passing tax reform legislation would mark a major achievement in bringing us closer to that goal. This Republican Congress and administration have made it a priority from the start. And, over the years, many of our Democratic friends have also expressed the view that we need tax reform.

“For years, it’s been clear that we should help American workers by reforming our outdated and convoluted tax system – which currently discourages investment here in America and deters companies from growing, creating jobs, and increasing wages.  For years, it’s been clear that we should remove a huge drag on job-creation by reforming our overly complex and punitive tax system – which currently undercuts employers who want to expand with new investments, jobs, wages, and employee benefits.  For years, it’s been clear that we should make taxes simpler and lower for both businesses and individuals — that we should strive for a tax code that works for American families and for American businesses, rather than working against them.

“This year, we finally have the perfect opportunity to achieve that goal.  So, rather than engage in blind opposition for its own sake on yet another issue, I hope Democrats will instead take the kind of constructive approach we saw the last time our country enacted comprehensive tax reform.  Back then, both parties recognized the need to address the burden and growing complexity of our tax code, and they came together to do something about it.  Republicans and Democrats worked side-by-side and across the aisle to move that tax legislation.  It was a big win for both parties.  For Ronald Reagan and the Republicans.  For Tip O’Neill and the Democrats.

“Now, it’s once again time that we do something about the issue, and I hope that our Democratic colleagues will once again work on a bipartisan basis toward that end.  This has been a growing problem for a number of years now. The American people deserve a tax system that allows them to keep more of their hard-earned money, that empowers them to invest in their future, and that actually makes it easier to succeed — rather than harder.

“So we have to get this done, because Americans have waited long enough for an economy that finally lives up to its potential — and finally allows them to realize theirs too.  I appreciate the House under Speaker Ryan’s leadership for the role it’s playing in these efforts. That work continues now with a Ways and Means Committee hearing dedicated to tax reform tomorrow and more to follow in coming days.

 “I also appreciate the good work of Members in both the House and the Senate, particularly the Senate Finance Committee under Chairman Hatch, who has been leading these discussions.  For years, the Chairman has been hard at work with fellow Finance Committee Members — on both sides of the aisle — on options for tax reform, and I’m confident that Senator Hatch will continue to lead the way on these efforts in the days and months ahead.

“So the task before us is certainly a significant one, but I’m confident we’re up to the challenge. Because we know how important it is for us to get this done. And we know how long overdue this is too.”