The Brady Briefing is a regular feature of USA Daily Times. In this issue, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) discusses the efforts by the GOP members of the US House to finish this session very strong, he touches on the Affordable Care Act, the upbeat situation for US workers, tax cut efforts, and much more.
The Affordable Care Act was hastily written by Democrats behind closed doors and stuffed with special interest giveaways that drove up health care costs for millions of working Americans. It’s been a disaster since its partisan and unpopular inception, and this recent ruling on its unconstitutionality is not surprising.
Should the courts uphold this decision both parties should start over, working together to make health care truly affordable, making sure patients can see local doctors and be treated at local hospitals, and ensuring that patient protections like pre-existing conditions, no lifetime limits, and allowing children to stay on their parents plans until age 26 are preserved.
As we head into the holiday season, American workers are experiencing wages that are rising at their fastest pace in a decade, unemployment at its lowest level in 50 years and the creation of nearly 2.3 million jobs this year alone. The Republican pro-growth agenda of lowering taxes and cutting regulations is having a real impact on communities right here in Texas and across the country. Let’s keep this momentum going.
In addition, state revenue is beating expectations as the new fiscal year begins and these gains are the results of our growing economy, spurred by the Republican tax cuts. It is my hope these states experiencing this boon will pass on these new revenues to the local taxpayers via lower taxes, rather than keeping them in the government coffers. Without question, the American people do a better job of spending their own money than any politician can.
The House Ways and Means Committee, which I lead, is working to pass crucial disaster tax relief for the families in 14 states and territories struggling to recover from devastating natural disasters. It is irresponsible to wait until next year and it is my hope that Republicans and Democrats come together this week to help those trying to rebuild. This legislation also delivers bipartisan relief from some of Obamacare’s most egregious taxes, expands and enhances retirement and education savings, and reforms the IRS into a taxpayer first agency.
The Obama Administration Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule expanded federal control over 60% of our country’s streams and millions of acres of wetlands that were previously non-jurisdictional. This was an astounding departure from longstanding interpretation of the Clean Water Act. Due to ongoing litigation, roughly half the country is under the guidance of the Obama-era 2015 rule while the other half is under the previous rule. This inconsistent regulatory patchwork creates uncertainty and hinders projects that can benefit both the environment and the economy.
I applaud the Trump Administrations revised definition of WOTUS. The proposed definition would establish national consistency and would rebalance the relationship between the federal government and states in managing land and water resources.
Amid all the turmoil and busyness of our world, I’m always grateful for a season to celebrate the Christmas Story. What an amazing testimony of God’s love for his creation – sending His Son to be born and live among us, with an amazing plan of sacrifice and redemption before Him.
As you’re celebrating the birth of Christ with your family and friends, please remember the men and women serving our nation overseas and the many families with empty seats around the table this year.
Kevin Brady is Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.