Legislative update: Tax reform the main talking point for area legislators


LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

By Craig Kelly - [email protected]



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WASHINGTON, D.C. — As one may expect with major reform legislation, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been the subject of the most discussion and reaction this past week in the nation’s capital.

U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green: Latta praised the passage of the tax reform bill, saying it will help fix what is a “broken tax code” and provide relief for middle class families.

“One of the top pledges of this Congress was to provide needed tax relief to middle-class families and the small businesses that drive our economy and create jobs,” said Latta. “The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will mean a family of four in Ohio’s 5th Congressional District, making the median income, will keep $2,415 more of their hard-earned money. While the defenders of the status quo have used misdirection and misinformation to try to stop tax reform, our efforts to fix a broken tax code and provide needed tax relief won’t be derailed.”

Additionally, Latta voted in favor of the Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act, which expands job and education opportunities for veterans in the scientific fields, as well as the Jobs for Our Heroes Act, which expands the ability for veterans and reservists to obtain Commercial Driver’s Licenses in a more streamlined manner.

U.S. Senate

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio: While Latta and other Republicans in Congress praised the tax reform bill, Brown joined other Democrats in condemning it, saying that it gives tax breaks to the wealthy at the expense of the middle class, particularly when it comes to healthcare.

“Tax reform should have been an opportunity to work together to cut taxes for working people. I offered to work with the President and Republicans, and I introduced multiple amendments that could have put real money in the pockets of Ohioans. Instead Washington chose to cut taxes for millionaires and corporations and pay for it by cutting Medicare and kicking people off their health insurance,” Brown said. “And it won’t stop there – Congressional Republicans are already planning to steal the money Ohioans have paid into Medicare and Social Security to pay for the hole they are blowing in the deficit.”

Brown was also joined by the Fraternal Order of Police this past week in calling for passage of Brown’s International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology Act, which passed the House in October. The bill, also supported by the Buckeye Sheriff’s Association and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, would authorize $15 million for new screening devices, lab equipment, facilities and personnel to more closely examine incoming items at ports of entry and mail and consignment facilities to detect contraband, such as fentanyl.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio: Portman praised the passage of the combined tax reform bill this week. Portman had served on the joint House and Senate committee that merged the House and Senate tax reform bills.

“For years, Republicans and Democrats alike have called for middle-class tax cuts and a more competitive tax code for American workers and businesses, and today Republicans are delivering on that promise,” Portman said. “This bill will cut taxes for middle-class families, reform our business tax code to create more jobs and higher wages for Ohio workers, and update our international tax code to encourage jobs and investments in America.”

On Wednesday, Portman also introduced Domenic’s Law to allow a parent of a child who develops a total and permanent disability to qualify for a discharge of their student loans.

“Families like the Carducci family of Steubenville, Ohio, whose son Domenic, has become permanently and totally disabled are going through unimaginable grief,” said Portman. “Because of this tragic disability, they cannot afford a massive student loan bill. The last thing that families in these situations need is that kind of financial burden.”

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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

By Craig Kelly

[email protected]

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

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