Congressman Byrne Has Some Good News For His Constituents

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Dear Patty,

It is officially fall, and there are some big projects happening in Congress. Most notably, last week a major tax cut and tax reform plan was unveiled. Check out some more on tax reform and other things we’ve accomplished in Washington this past week.

Tax Reform Process Begins

We haven’t really updated our tax code since 1986, and that is a shame.  The current tax code is too complicated and does not benefit hardworking American families.  Just as bad, the current tax code limits economic growth and represents the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. We can – and we must – do better.

That is why I met with my colleagues on Wednesday to discuss a comprehensive, detailed framework for tax legislation. Our goal is to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and help you keep more of your hard-earned paycheck. After a lengthy discussion, the House and Senate, along with President Trump, unveiled a framework for the tax reform process.

Our proposed framework would:

  • Reduce the current seven tax brackets into effectively four – 0%, 12%, 25% and 35% – with the potential for an additional top rate for the highest-income taxpayers to ensure that the wealthy do not contribute a lower share of taxes paid than they do today;
  • Almost double the standard deduction so that middle-class families will keep more of their paycheck. It also significantly increases the Child Tax Credit to benefit working families;
  • End the death tax, or estate tax, which unproportionately punishes small businesses and family farms;
  • Limit the maximum tax rate for small and family-owned businesses to 25% – significantly lower than the top rate that these businesses pay today;
  • Reduce the corporate tax rate to 20% – below the 22.5% average of the industrialized world;
  • Bring home profits by imposing a one-time, low tax rate on wealth that has already accumulated overseas so there is no tax incentive to keeping the money offshore;
  • End the perverse incentive to offshore jobs and keep foreign profits overseas, leveling the playing field for American companies and workers;
  • Allow, for at least five years, businesses to immediately write off the cost of new investments, giving a much-needed lift to the economy; and
  • Eliminate many itemized deductions that are primarily used by the well-connected and elite, but retain tax incentives for home mortgage interest and charitable contributions, as well as tax incentives for work, higher education, and retirement security.

Please know that this will be a process, and we aim to get it right. As the current framework is finalized and built into actual legislation, I look forward to gaining input from individuals and small businesses in Southwest Alabama. I am committed to joining with President Trump to advance real tax reform before the end of the year. Now is the time to fix our broken tax code, and we must get the job done.

Click here to read more about our tax cut and tax reform framework.

Relief for Hurricane Victims

The House last week passed the Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017, which helps American families and communities impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The bill will provide tax relief for the areas affected by these storms. The measure would automatically amend the bill with language to reimburse Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for costs associated with disaster relief tax provisions.

With millions displaced from their homes and without electricity, recovery from these storms will not happen overnight. However, I will do everything in my power to make sure the recovery process goes as quickly and smoothly as possible. In the meantime, please join me in saying a prayer for all those impacted by these recent storms, as well as the dedicated first-responders and emergency personnel on the scene.

Support for STEM Education

Last week, I joined President Trump at the White House as he signed a Presidential Memorandum to promote STEM education. This Memorandum calls on the Department of Education to devote at least $200 million of its grant funds each year to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs, including computer science.

As a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, I applaud President Trump and his administration for their commitment to advancing STEM education. STEM is no longer a thing of the future, but it is the reality for today’s workforce. By focusing grant funding in this area, we can help ensure that our students are exposed to the skills necessary to excel in today’s 21st Century economy.

Free Speech on Campus

Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered remarks at Georgetown University on the importance of free speech on college campuses. At such a trying time in our nation’s history, it is imperative that we remember our rights as Americans and not stifle voices just because we do not agree. Our colleges and universities are no exception to these rules.

As former chancellor of Alabama’s two-year college system, I believe college campuses should be a place where ideas are freely debated and students are exposed to a wide range of views. Attorney General Sessions was spot on in his remarks, and he is right to step up enforcement of free speech rights on college campuses. Colleges and universities should be a place where students learn how to determine facts and come to conclusions on their own, not a closed-off shelter for political correctness.

Photo of the Week

Last week, I met Micah Pickering, who was born at 22 weeks. It is people like Micah that demonstrate why I am so strongly pro-life. Next week, the House will vote on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks. As I vote yes, Micah and children like him will be on my mind.

In Case You Missed It

Here are a few articles worth a read this week:

“HBCU Caucus grows as 8 senators join bipartisan group” – The Philadelphia Tribune

“Bradley Byrne: Ending illegal immigration must be a top priority” – AL Today

“Mobile seeks to empower women” – The Vanguard

“Moore Wins Senate GOP Runoff in Alabama” – Roll Call

“House members on both sides seek focus on middle class in tax reform” – Sinclair Broadcast Group

“Trump calls for bipartisanship to create ‘middle class miracle’ with tax reform” – The Washington Examiner

“Sessions to declare free speech ‘under attack’ on campus, in broadside at political correctness” – Fox News

“Senate OKs Trump pick for NLRB” – The Washington Examiner

What’s Ahead

As we head into October, the House plans to vote next week on a fiscal year 2018 budget resolution. We must pass the budget before we can move on to tax reform. I plan to support the budget plan because it outlines important cuts and reforms to federal spending.

If you, your child, your grandchild, or someone you know is interested in attending one of our nation’s military service academies, I invite you to attend my annual Academy Night tomorrow, October 2nd, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Representatives from the service academies will be on hand to answer questions, and my office will provide important information about the nomination process.

  • What: Academy Night 2017
  • Who: Representatives from our nation’s military service academies
  • When: Monday, October 2nd from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. CT
  • Where: St. Paul’s Episcopal School; Dr. Monte L. Moorer Theatre; 161 Dogwood Lane, Mobile, AL

For information on the Academy nomination process, you can visit my website here.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office with questions or concerns about what is happening in Washington. You can reach me at 251-690-2811 or connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Stay in touch,

Congressman Bradley Byrne

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