Washington, D.C. — Today, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following closing remarks in support of H.R. 1994, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019, on the House floor.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Madame Speaker.
“Just two months ago, we heard Democrat lawmakers say they were working to ‘restore the people’s faith that government works in the public’s interest.’
“They said Democrats wanted to work for ‘the people’s interest, not the special interests.’
“Other Democrats have written recently that, ‘Democrats are united in our effort to root out corruption.’
“They asserted that the majority wanted to ‘pass laws that make sure our government acts in the best interests of the American people — not entrenched special interests.’
“This new House majority from day one have led a legislative agenda that is solely For the Politics. And sadly that once again was put on display this week.
“And it’s unfortunate every word quoted above was stomped on this week as special interest groups forced Democrats to make changes to a bill that would help children and parents with costs associated with school.
“The original bipartisan reforms that they were able to strip from this bill would have allowed parents to use 529 plans for homeschooling and additional K-12 expenses at public, private, and religious schools.
“This is money that families could have used for books, online education materials, tutoring, AP classes and university exams, and educational therapies for students – including for kids with disabilities.
“Blocking these provisions is certainly not pro-education – and there is no way that it is pro-child.
“It is beyond me how an ‘education association’ can oppose parents using their own savings to help their child reach their highest potential.
“And the way these provisions were removed – without Republican knowledge or support – is setting a dangerous pattern in motion.
“If special interests can simply call those who lead our friends across the aisle whenever they want and poison the bipartisan work that’s done at the committee level, this is going to be a very unproductive Congress.
“There will be no incentive to work on bipartisan solutions in any committee if special interests know they’ve got an open door over there.
“Today’s bill deserves to pass. And Republicans should be proud of what all we were able to achieve after two years of hard work.
“But the way that this bill was changed in the dead of night after unanimous approval in committee is a dangerous precedent to set going forward – one I truly hope my friends on the Left won’t allow to happen again.
“Thank you, Madame Speaker.”