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Shelby says budget passage in Senate first step toward tax reform

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Report

Friday, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., praised the Senate’s passage of a budget resolution.

“Last night’s Senate passage of the budget resolution is a critical step toward pro-growth tax reform,” Shelby said in a statement. “Congress now has the opportunity to advance a comprehensive tax overhaul that will shift the nation’s economic landscape and provide relief to middle-class families. Hard-working Alabamians deserve to keep more of their hard-earned money. Passing this budget puts us one step closer to achieving that goal.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, agreed with Shelby.

“The Senate is taking the next critical step in passing the comprehensive, fiscally responsible budget before us,” McConnell said. “It’s pretty obvious that this is a good budget — and that’s true whether you’re looking at it from a fiscal perspective or an economic one.”

“Take the fiscal side first. It reins in government spending. It protects Social Security,” McConnell said. “It complies fully with previous spending caps, while also providing for an increase for defense resources if a bipartisan agreement can be reached. In short, it’s a fiscally responsible budget that will help put the federal government on a path to balance. On the economic side, this budget can help our country realize better and more sustained economic growth — which is critical, given the last decade of missed opportunities for the middle class. One way this budget can help our economy is by providing legislative tools to advance tax reform.”

“As I’ve said many times before, tax reform represents the most important thing we can do today to get our economy reaching for its true potential. Tax reform is all about getting America going again and growing again. It aims to take more money out of Washington’s pockets and put more in middle-class pockets. And it represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to replace a failing tax code that holds Americans back with one that works for them. Passing this budget is critical to getting tax reform done, so we can strengthen our economy after years of stagnation under the previous administration,” McConnell said.

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Vice President Mike Pence spoke recently on tax reform.

“First and foremost, we’re going to cut taxes across the board for working families,” Pence said. “We’re going to lower tax rates from seven brackets down to three. We’re going to increase the standard exemption by doubling it to some $24,000 so that for the average working family, your first $24,000 in income will be tax-free. And we’ll increase the per-child tax credit. So as the President says, this is a middle-class miracle.”

“This tax cut is first and foremost designed to help American families struggling too often to make ends meet to have more dollars in their pockets. The President pointed out our tax-cut plan will give the average American family an extra $4,000 a year at least after we sign it into law,” Pence stated.

“Secondly, the President and I believe that the tax code is too complicated. Maybe some of you agree. (Laughter.) Truth is that the American people spend millions of hours and billions of dollars filling out our taxes every year. And I’m anxious to hear if people around this table have that feeling, as well. Under the President’s plan, 90 percent of the American people will be able to file their taxes on one piece of paper without professional help,” Pence continued.

The $4 trillion budget passed 51 to 49. All the Democrats and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., voted against.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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