When I visit folks throughout Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, they share with me their successes, and unfortunately, their struggles. I take their stories with me to Congress where I work as hard as I can to help Iowans.
One way to help is by providing tax relief to folks who are struggling to get by, living paycheck to paycheck. And I’ve met too many folks in the district working more than one job trying to make ends meet.
So when I hear talking heads and some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle misleading Americans about the tax relief legislation we’re working hard on, I’m disappointed. Some, unfortunately, are using fearful rhetoric and characterizing the legislation as “…the end of the world. …This is Armageddon.”
For the single mom working two jobs to support her family, the tax bill expands the child tax credit and lowers her tax rate. This is a new beginning and not the end of the world.
And for small business owners struggling to keep their business open and make payroll, the tax legislation means they won’t feel the walls crumbling down but instead have some needed breathing room with their tax rate being lowered.
There are too many folks facing dire situations who need help.
For them, this tax plan will help by creating more jobs, higher wages, and put more money in their pockets. Throughout the entire process of developing the tax plan, my focus has always been on middle-income families and those trying to climb the economic ladder.
When anyone incites fear or misleads Americans, it’s a disservice to the process and to people. I recognize some believe the government is best suited to spend taxpayer dollars. That’s an honest belief and should be argued and defended with facts and logic. I disagree and believe Iowans and all Americans know how to spend their hard-earned money better than the government. These are fundamental honest differences.
An important part of the process and debate means putting forward solutions. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen that from the other side in this most recent tax debate.
What’s interesting is many of the main provisions included in the tax bill are ideas receiving bipartisan support in the past. Former President Obama supported lowering the corporate tax rate. Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer supported a tax holiday to bring home foreign profits. The top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Ron Wyden, supported increasing the standard deduction and proposed bills to cut the corporate tax rate and repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax. Democratic Senators Bill Nelson and Debbie Stabenow both introduced legislation expanding the child tax credit. These are just a few things included and prioritized in the Republican tax bills in the House of Representatives and Senate which many of my Democratic colleagues have supported. But unfortunately don’t support now.
The current tax plans in Congress went through a regular and open process. Public hearings were held, open debate and amendments were voted on, and everyone has had the opportunity to evaluate policies and proposals which have been discussed for years. The process created tax relief measures. It doubled the standard deduction so Americans can keep more of what they earn tax free, expanded the child tax credit, and lowered the tax rate on job creators. And the process is still moving forward to analyze and make improvements to the tax relief bill.
Throughout the process, the one thing it seems everyone agrees on is our tax code is broken. But Congress cannot continue business as usual by pontificating over and over on proposals and policies without action and instead with rhetoric, exaggerations, and hyperbole. Iowans deserve better. You and your family deserve better.
Enacting major changes to our decades-old tax structure can be uncomfortable and upsetting to some who like the status quo. But I’m not working in Congress to protect the status quo or serve the establishment. I’m working for the people of the Third District and I came to Congress to deliver real solutions on the big issues we’re confronting as a people, state, and nation.