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Hice: One step closer to tax reform, relief
House passes measure on to Senate
Hice Presides
U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., presides over the House of Representatives floor debate on the budget framework for tax reform at the Capitol in Washington on Thursday morning, Oct. 26, 2017, in a screen grab from C-SPAN.

WASHINGTON — For months now, tax relief and tax reform have been front and center in Congress, and this week, we moved it one step closer toward the finish line.

On Thursday, the House passed House Resolution 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, to simplify and modernize our unwieldy tax code. I’d like to take this opportunity to explain some of the ways that this new bill will help folks in Georgia, in addition to some of the amendments I’ve been fighting to include in the tax package. 

With key provisions like doubling the standard deduction, vastly decreasing the small-business tax rate and increasing the child tax credit, this measure works to give hardworking families a leg up. This tax plan is also expected to create nearly 30,000 new jobs in Georgia alone, while raising the after-tax income for middle-class Georgia families by more than $2,300. That’s extra money in your pocket for home repairs, a vacation, or to put away for the future. 

For far too long, the IRS has led by fear, creating a culture of intimidation for nonprofits, churches and other charitable organizations. One of the primary reasons I decided to run for Congress was to reverse the chilling effect that the Johnson Amendment — a clause in our tax code that unconstitutionally constrains the free speech of 501(c)(3) organizations — has inflicted. I am proud to say this new tax plan will undo the destructive effects of the Johnson Amendment through the inclusion of language from my bill, the Free Speech Fairness Act, to restore the Constitutional rights of our faith-based organizations and nonprofits.

Furthermore, through extensive efforts by myself and a few of my colleagues, H.R. 1 includes vital language to maintain the Adoption Tax Credit. This tax credit contributes to an increase in the adoption of at-risk children and further promotes the culture of life.

President Donald Trump has led the charge to revitalize our economy, and we are already seeing all-time highs for the stock market and a 17-year low for unemployment. While Georgia has been the best state to do business in for the last five years running, enacting comprehensive tax reform at a national level will unleash a modern-day edge of competitiveness to attract new businesses and help create more jobs and a higher quality of living for all Georgians.

Several of Georgia’s largest employers, including UPS, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and Delta, have let us know they are extremely eager to get this new plan rolling and are confident it will allow them to grow jobs and boost wages.

I am excited that those of us in the House have been able to accomplish this first step, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and the Trump administration to enact a meaningful reform of our tax code that will provide much-needed relief to millions of hardworking American families.

Jody Hice, a Republican from Greensboro, represents Georgia’s 10th District in Congress. Online: