The Brady Briefing: Important Legislative Actions, Military Funding, Trade Developments, and More

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The Brady Briefing is a regular feature of USA Daily Times.  In this issue, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) focuses on important legislative actions you may have missed, fully funding the military, Social Security, major trade developments, and the confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice.

By U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX)

With the lack of coverage by the media, you may have missed the House of Representatives pass three important bills that will help ensure continued momentum from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Dubbed Tax Reform 2.0, these bills will make permanent the tax cuts for individuals and small businesses, make it easier for families to save earlier in life and more for retirement and education costs, and help new companies move from the garage to Main Street by allowing them to write off more of their start-up costs.

The tax cuts signed into law by President Trump last December changed the trajectory of our economy for the better. Jobs are flowing back to our shores from overseas, manufacturing is up, wages are rising, and weekly jobless claims just hit a 49 year low! Tax Reform 2.0 builds on this enormous success, ensuring you keep more of your hard-earned paycheck, and trust me—you’ll spend it better than Washington does—and ultimately, begins to change the culture in Washington. I look forward to working with the Senate to pass this important legislation.

In other news, for the first time since 2008, Congress passed, and the President signed an appropriations bill that fully funds our military—on time. For ten years, our military has been forced to rely on short-term continuing resolutions, making it difficult to maintain the readiness necessary to keep our nation safe in an increasingly dangerous world.

The men and women serving our nation in uniform deserve the best equipment, training and support we can offer. This bill increases funding to every branch, boosts troop levels, provides dedicated funding for equipment maintenance, and gives our service men and women the largest pay raise in nine years. I’m proud to stand by President Trump as he keeps his promise to invest in our military, ensuring they’ll remain the greatest fighting force in the world.

Though most people have never heard of Social Security’s Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), it’s a policy that negatively impacts more than 170,000 Texans. And not just any Texans. I’m talking about the tireless teachers who guide our children, the courageous firefighters who battle the flames, and the brave law enforcement officers who keep our communities safe.

While WEP was created with good intentions, it unfairly penalizes our public servants when it comes to calculating their Social Security benefits. The good news is that last week I introduced bipartisan legislation with my colleague Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) that would repeal WEP and replace it with a fairer formula that takes actual wage and work history into account. In support, Senator Ted Cruz introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

These hardworking teachers and first-responders give it their all every day for our communities, and I’m proud to support them by introducing the Equal Treatment for Public Servants Act of 2018.

We saw two important announcements from the White House on trade recently. First, President Trump and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced their intention to enter into negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement. This is a game changer. Japan is an important trading partner, and this could lead to more opportunities to sell Made in America products.

Also, the United State, Mexico and Canada have reached a trilateral agreement to update and modernize NAFTA, which is so incredibly important for Texas workers, manufacturers and farmers and ranchers. Lawmakers and every American will have the chance to look over the Unite States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and I look forward to working with the Trump administration to help ensure that this new trade deal puts America first.

My congratulations to the newest Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh. There’s no question that Justice Kavanaugh will stay true to our Constitution and uphold the rule of law. Thank you President Donald Trump for choosing another qualified and strong conservative for our nation’s highest court.

Kevin Brady is Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.  

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