WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) today delivered the following opening statement at a Full Committee markup of the Views and Estimates on the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget.
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Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Today our Committee will consider our annual Views and Estimates on the Fiscal Year 2019 Federal Budget. This is part of our responsibility to inform the Budget Committee of our agenda and our priorities for the year ahead.
“While today’s markup may seem like a procedural formality, this letter is very important to our Committee’s work. It allows us to identify challenges facing our nation and begin moving forward to solve them and improve lives in our communities.
“Our nation’s economy is off to an excellent start in 2018 and is poised to grow even stronger over the year ahead – especially as our workers, families, and local businesses continue see the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“For the first time in over three decades, we now have a tax code that is built specifically to deliver more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks.
“Millions of Americans have seen bonuses, raises, minimum-wage increases, and bigger employer contributions to their retirement accounts.
“And millions more are now seeing a boost in their take-home pay as employers update tax withholding for the new law.
“To build on the success of tax reform, our Committee will continue to focus on policies that further strengthen our communities and our economy.
“We believe there are six key areas:
“One – expanding international trade with strong, enforceable trade agreements that allow our businesses and our workers to sell more American-made products and services to more customers throughout the world.
“Two – making sure our new tax code is implemented with fairness, efficiency, and effectiveness so we can continue to support growth and American competitiveness.
“Three – and related to tax reform – reforming the Internal Revenue Service with a strong emphasis on improving taxpayer service and accountability.
“Four – increasing job readiness for our nation’s workforce so more Americans can escape poverty, move up the economic ladder, and earn their own success through work.
“Five – reducing costs in health care, both in the short term and long term, and delivering solutions to help more families access high-quality care at an affordable price.
“And six – we’re committed to preserving Medicare and Social Security – vital programs for the American people –for generations to come.
“In all of these priorities, we are focused on promoting a stronger economy with more jobs and more opportunities for the American people. And we know that a healthy and growing economy means more revenues – reducing the demand for government services, decreasing the need for additional spending, and ultimately reducing our debt and deficits.
“For all of these reasons, the six priorities we’ve outlined are important not only for the growth of our economy in the short term, but also the prosperity and success of our nation for generations to come.
“These are smart, focused solutions that have shared significant bipartisan support in our Committee. I welcome the opportunity to work with all of our members – on both sides of the aisle – to move them forward over the year ahead.
“And we can start right now by adopting our Views and Estimates on the Fiscal Year 2019 Federal Budget.”