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Walden cheers House-passed tax reform; Wyden slams Senate plan

WASHINGTON - Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., issued a statement Thursday praising House passage of a tax reform plan, while Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. offered a statement strongly critical of the Senate Republicans' version of tax reform.

First, Walden's statement on the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1):

“This is an important step forward to provide a tax code that works better for Oregonians and their families. Our plan will allow Oregon taxpayers to keep more of their hard-earned money and boost critical job growth in our state. This tax reform package will provide much-needed tax relief for individuals, families and small business owners in our district, and make the burdensome process of filing taxes much simpler. 

“It’s long past time for tax reform that respects and rewards hard work, makes everyone play by the same rules, and lets Oregonians keep more of their pay check. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will help us reach that goal, and I look forward to its continued improvement as it progresses through the legislative process.”

According to data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and reports from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will positively impact Oregon by:

Benefits for Oregon

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will:

  • Lead to the creation of an additional 12,358 jobs in Oregon.
  • Raise after-tax income for middle class families in Oregon by $2,602.

Benefits for Oregon's Second District

Increased Child Tax Credit: 50,193 taxpayers in the 2nd District claim the child tax credit. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increases the child tax credit from $1,000 per child to $1,600.

Tax Relief for Small Businesses: 50,650 taxpayers in the 2nd District have small business income (a business that the taxpayer operated). The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduces taxes for small business owners. First, the bill implements a new, lower 9% tax rate on the first $75,000 of net business income for active small business owners earning less than $150,000 through their business. Second, the bill lowers taxes on small business investment by creating a new 25% small business tax rate.

Simpler Taxes: 104,189 taxpayers in the 2nd District itemize their taxes. As a result of the near doubling of the standard deduction and other simplifications, many taxpayers will have much simpler returns. It is estimated that 9 out of 10 Americans will be able to file their taxes on a postcard.

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Sen. Ron Wyden news release:

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today gave the following remarks at the Finance Committee on new analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation that shows the Senate Republican tax bill will raise taxes on hard working Americans by billions of dollars to pay for tax cuts for multinational corporations. 

Full remarks as prepared for delivery below:

Colleagues, let’s start today off with the jaw-dropping news that just broke in the last hour. According to the latest figures from JCT, in 2021, families earning $30,000 and under are going to get walloped by a tax hike of nearly six billion dollars to pay for this handout to multinational corporations. A six billion dollar tax hike on low-income Americans. And by 2027, the news is even worse. A decade out, this bill raises taxes by $27 billion on families earning $75,000 and under. And meanwhile, corporations across the board are guaranteed a cut.

This process ought to end right here and right now. I do not know how anybody can go home to their constituents and explain why it’s a good idea to hike taxes on parents who are barely staying afloat to pay for a massive corporate handout. What’s happening here is shameful. Republicans in this room spent all day yesterday saying that repealing the individual mandate is a tax cut, and this is proof positive that that was dead wrong. This is what happens when you legislate in secret with such reckless haste. This amounts to writing tax policy in the dark, and the majority is doing its best to keep the lights turned off.

The first version of this bill that came out late last week was a huge tax hike for millions in the middle class. Then on Tuesday, after two entire days of markup had passed, there was a new version that attacked Americans’ health care.

Now there’s this shocking new information this morning. At this rate, Republicans are going to test the limits of exactly how many different ways hard working Americans can be forced to pay for corporate handouts.

The public is now getting a bead on what’s ahead. Once this Finance Committee process wraps up, this bill is headed straight back behind closed doors. Senators are headed home at the end of this week for the Thanksgiving holiday. But the majorities from the House and Senate are going to be hashing out the differences in their two bills. They’re going to cut a backroom deal and make $10 trillion in tax changes on the fly. If you’re watching at home and it’s been a minute since you took civics class, here’s what that means. While you’re reaching for the cranberry sauce, Republicans are going to be reaching for your pocketbooks to give handouts to multinational corporations.

This is not a real, honest-to-God attempt to have a full bipartisan debate on tax reform that gives everybody a chance to get ahead. There were amendments to bring some sunshine to the process. There was an amendment to protect Medicare and Social Security. Another on protecting veterans.

In my view, the real stunner was what happened yesterday when Senator Brown brought up an amendment dealing with keeping jobs from going overseas. Senator Brown has been leading a crusade to try to get this proposal into law. He’s handed it to the president twice -- and both times the president has said he supports it. I know because I was there. And when you’re dealing with a smart, bipartisan proposal that’s all about protecting and creating red-white-and-blue jobs, Senators on both sides ought to be looking for every possible way to make it happen.

That is not what happened yesterday. Yesterday it was said the amendment was non-germane because he didn’t have a score. But he submitted the provision for a score nearly a week ago, just a matter of hours after the Chairman’s bill became public. You could not have asked Senator Brown to do any better than that. So in my judgment, this looks like an attempt to find a convenient excuse to say no.

If a pro-jobs idea as important as Senator Brown’s gets blocked without any valid reason, then it’s hard to see what this process is about other than getting this bill out of committee and back behind closed doors.

And this morning people across the country are waking up to confirmation that this bill pays for massive handouts to corporations with a multi-billion dollar tax hike on people who can’t afford it.

Colleagues, this is nothing like the thoughtful, measured bipartisan approach that defines Reagan-style tax reform. This is not a process that brings together the best ideas from both sides. This is an exercise in legislating with reckless haste, and working families and middle class families can now see that it will have disastrous consequences for them. When the history of the Finance Committee is written, this will be a dark, dark chapter.


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