WASHINGTON, D.C. – During the full Ways and Means Committee markup of Democrats’ crippling $3.5 trillion tax hike and spending package, top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) expressed his disappointment in Democrats’ decision to cast aside the bipartisan SECURE 2.0 for more Washington mandates and small business tax hikes.
President Biden’s 33 percent tax hike would hit small businesses too. Nearly 1.5 million small businesses that employ more than 12.5 million Americans will be hit by Democrats’ crippling tax hikes.
Rep. Brady’s full remarks as prepared for delivery appear below.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I agree.
Ensuring Americans have the resources they need for a prosperous retirement has always been a bipartisan priority of this Committee. We can be proud of the work that we’ve done together, which is why I have profound disappointment that now we are taking a partisan approach on retirement.
It’s important to remember that this Committee has a remarkable track record in this regard. In the last Congress alone, we were able to put aside our differences and pass five meaningful substantial reforms that impacted every American for the better.
We passed the Taxpayer First Act which redesigned the IRS for the first time in two decades.
We put an end to surprise medical billings without increasing premiums for patients.
We repealed three burdensome health care Affordable Care Act taxes – creating $350 billion in tax savings for seniors, patients, workers, families, and Main Street job creators. This Committee helped more Americans successfully save for a secure retirement with the passage of SECURE 1.0.
And as the pandemic ravaged the country, we came together, passed five bipartisan bills providing $3.5 trillion in relief to frontline workers, schools, and Main Street businesses.
Again, we can be proud of our work together.
I worry though, that just a few short months ago, our colleagues unanimously approved a bill to improve our $20 trillion defined contribution retirement system. This “SECURE 2.0” built on our successful model in getting our historic retirement bill signed into law in 2019.
At the time, the Chairman said, “I’m happy that we were able to work together on a bipartisan basis to develop this important legislation. Our efforts have resulted in an excellent product that will help Americans plan for their golden years.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Republicans were looking forward to working with Democrats to further improve workers’ long-term financial wellbeing, helping them save more and save earlier throughout their lifetime.
It was the intention of every Member on this Committee to get SECURE 2.0 across the finish line and signed into law by year-end.
Instead, with this bill, we have decidedly taken a different approach, and a partisan approach.
Main Street now faces an onerous new mandate from Washington, and a tax penalty if you don’t comply.
Small business owners know this is yet another, or feels like another war on work and particularly on small businesses. And they know every penny of spending this week must be offset with tax increases, some of them on the very small businesses we are trying to help.
I’d like to submit for the record a letter from the NFIB, warning this partisan approach to retirement will cost small business owners more than $23 billion over the next decade – and result in permanently lower wages for workers.
I believe that rather than taking a partisan approach that damages our ability in the future to work together and find common ground, I think we’d do so much better by working together.
This Committee has proven this time and time again. I oppose this measure and urge us to return to the bipartisan approach that has proved so successful.