Early Saturday morning the U.S. Senate passed the GOP Tax Plan (H.R. 1) on a 51-49 vote. U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who both voted yes on the plan, responded to the vote.
Ernst made the following statement:
Today, the Senate took a monumental step forward in pursuing a simpler tax code that provides much-needed relief for hardworking Iowans and helps strengthen our economy. It also eliminates ObamaCare’s costly individual mandate that forces Americans to buy health insurance that is in many cases for Iowans, unaffordable.
Additionally, I am thrilled that the SQUEAL Act is included in this tax reform legislation. My proposal will force Congress to offer up its own unnecessary tax break that allows Members of Congress to deduct, for income tax purposes, thousands of dollars annually in living expenses while in the Washington, D.C. area.
This Senate bill also includes a bipartisan measure I helped lead to spur economic growth in poverty-stricken areas, and bring hope and opportunity back to many distressed rural communities in Iowa.
Moreover, job creators of all sizes will finally see relief from the burdensome and complicated tax code. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would allow Iowa small businesses and entrepreneurs to keep more of their hard-earned dollars to reinvest in their companies, and is estimated to create over 10,000 jobs across Iowa. This legislation also gives more money back to Iowa’s hardworking parents by doubling the child tax credit.
While the bill does not include everything I hoped, I am pleased that this legislation creates more opportunities for all, including lower- and middle-income families across the State of Iowa who will see thousands of dollars back in their pockets. I look forward to seeing this important bill move ahead to reduce the burden of our overly-complicated tax code and enact reforms that provide relief to Iowa’s hard-working families and businesses.
Grassley released his own statement after the vote:
The passage of this bill is a historic moment for Iowa and the entire country. It’s been more than 30 years since Congress passed significant tax reform. The good news is that this legislation will let Iowans keep more of their own hard-earned money, increase average wages and help create new jobs.
This reform bill enacts across-the-board tax cuts, providing financial relief to middle-class and low-income earners who need it most. As just one example, an average family of four with two children would receive a $2,200 tax cut. Lowering taxes lets people decide how to spend more of their own money instead of Washington politicians. It would help working families struggling to make ends meet, allow farmers and small business owners to further expand and invest, and makes American jobs and workers more competitive globally.
This bill also gets rid of the unfair and regressive Obamacare individual mandate tax, giving Iowans the freedom to make choices that work best for them instead of being forced by the federal government to purchase an unaffordable product they either don’t want or don’t need. More than 52,000 Iowans in 2015 were required to pay the individual mandate tax, even though more than 80 percent of those who paid the tax made less than $50,000 a year. That’s a tax on working families, and I’m hopeful to see it gone.
The Senate passage of this legislation is a victory for Iowans of every income level and way of life, but there’s more work to be done. It now needs to be reconciled with the House-passed version. This is a once-in-a -generation opportunity to make lasting reforms to our broken and outdated tax code. I look forward to working with my House and Senate colleagues to draft a bicameral bill to be signed into law by the President.
Grassley successfully added several provisions to the bill including whistleblower protections, taxpayer rights, and corporate accountability measures.
The House and Senate will have to work out differences in conference before a bill lands on President Donald Trump’s desk.