Hice: Tax reform is top priority
Passing a budget is first step to giving Americans relief
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 – Conservatives in Congress are focused on one thing right now: tax relief for American families.

For months, we have been developing a plan to benefit all Americans – and we are excited to finally get it rolling. A major step in accomplishing a substantial overhaul of our complicated and burdensome tax system is passing a budget.

It has been over 30 years since we have passed comprehensive tax reform. For too long, we’ve watched the American middle class struggle and many businesses stifled as they try to grow. Our corporate tax code is the highest in the world, forcing many companies to go overseas. Simply put, the status quo isn’t working.

Passing a budget is a necessary first step to accomplishing tax reform, because it includes reconciliation instructions – a special budgetary procedure that only requires 51 votes for a piece of legislation to pass the Senate. Further, it will also shine a light on what has for so long been a broken process.

For example, Congress has completed action on the annual budget resolution by the statutory deadline only six times in the 43 years since the enactment of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. We need a system that follows regular order and relies on conservative principles to realize fiscally responsible spending.  

I know many of you are shackled with the heavy burden of an outdated and onerous tax code. Roughly half of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. This is unacceptable, but fortunately, there is something Congress can do. Under President Donald Trump’s leadership, people are feeling hopeful about our economy again, and once our comprehensive tax reform bill is passed, our economic growth will be even more robust.

To be clear, this budget is far from ideal, and I’m disappointed the Senate version ultimately passed did not include the House’s provisions on entitlement reform. But when it comes down to it, because of the political reality of the U.S. Senate, a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions is needed for us to enact meaningful reform with tax cuts. It’s simply the best vehicle for us to make our tax system more efficient, fairer, and simpler, and I was glad to vote in favor of a bill that will allow us to implement such positive changes.

In the coming week, the full text of our plan is expected to be released. It will include concrete details on how we’re going to achieve the wide-ranging transformation Americans so desperately need, while allowing middle-class families and small businesses to keep much, much more of their hard-earned income.

To put it mildly, I’m excited. We’ve heard a lot of outstanding ideas, and we are setting the stage to complete something truly historic and great. I encourage you to sign up for my e-newsletter to stay tuned for more updates!


U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, a Republican from Greensboro, represents Georgia's 10th District in the House of Representatives. Online: hice.house.gov.