INTRODUCTION OF THE TAX REFORM ACT OF 2014; Congressional Record Vol. 160, No. 152
(Extensions of Remarks - December 12, 2014)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1800-E1801]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                             HON. DAVE CAMP

                              of michigan

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, December 11, 2014

  Mr. CAMP. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to announce the introduction of 
H.R. 1, the Tax Reform Act of 2014. This bill--which formalizes, 
without modifications, the tax reform discussion draft I released 
publicly on February 26, 2014--reflects the years of work undertaken on 
this critical issue by the Committee on Ways and Means during my time 
as chairman. I want to thank the members of our committee, on both 
sides of the aisle, for their tireless efforts and for their 
outstanding contributions to this legislation and to the transparent, 
inclusive process that produced it. While I will not be returning to 
the House of Representatives next year, I very much look forward to 
watching the ongoing work of our great committee as the tax reform 
debate continues to unfold in the 114th Congress.
  Mr. Speaker, the urgent need to fix our broken tax code--and the 
incredible progress we've made toward making tax reform a reality for 
the first time since 1986--has already been well documented, and I will 
not seek to recount all of that background and history here today. But 
I do hope that, going forward, Congress will continue to focus on the 
twin goals that have guided the tax reform process thus far--
strengthening the economy, and making the tax code simpler and fairer 
for all Americans.
  When I set out to produce a comprehensive tax reform bill, I wanted 
to do it the right way. So, over the last four years, the Ways and 
Means Committee held over 30 public hearings, including the first joint 
hearings with the Senate Finance Committee on tax policy since World 
War II. Ways and Means Ranking Member Sandy Levin--my home state 
colleague--and I formed 11 bipartisan working groups to tackle 
different areas of the tax code. In that time, I also launched 
TaxReform.Gov, which received more than 14,000 public comments and 
suggestions, while Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) and I left the confines of 
Washington, DC to talk with taxpayers all across the country. I am 
proud to say that we have done this in the most open, transparent, and 
bipartisan way--getting input from all sides. Now, the debate about 
whether to do tax reform is over; the only debate now is about how.
  At its core, the Tax Reform Act of 2014 is about making the tax code 
simpler and fairer for hardworking taxpayers. I believe every taxpayer 
should be able to do his or her taxes without fear that someone with 
better accountants or lawyers is getting a better deal. This 
legislation does that by ensuring that virtually all taxpayers would 
pay the least amount of taxes without having to keep track of every 
receipt and record and live in fear of an IRS audit. This legislation 
makes the Code more effective and efficient by getting rid of narrowly 
targeted provisions to lower tax rates across the board. This will 
enable small and large businesses alike to expand operations, hire new 
workers, and increase benefits and take-home pay.
  The proposal flattens the rate structure by reducing rates and 
collapsing today's seven individual rate brackets into two brackets of 
10 and 25 percent for virtually all taxable income, ensuring that over 
99 percent of all taxpayers face rates no higher than 25 percent. The 
plan also reduces the corporate rate to 25 percent.
  By making America's corporate tax rate more competitive and by 
modernizing our anticompetitive international tax rules, which have not 
been reformed since the 1960s, we would encourage companies to keep 
their headquarters in the United States, so they can grow, invest, and 
hire here, instead of moving overseas in search of a better tax 
environment. We need a real solution to this growing problem, and I 
believe a significantly lower

[[Page E1801]]

corporate tax rate and a more competitive tax system is just the 
solution we need.
  Independent economists agree: Tax reform results in stronger economic 
growth, more jobs, and higher wages. In fact, the independent, non-
partisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates that this plan 
could increase the size of our economy by $3.4 trillion--that's 
equivalent to 20 percent of today's economy. Based on that stronger 
economic growth, we could see nearly two million new jobs created. JCT 
also estimates that this proposal could generate up to $700 billion in 
additional Federal revenues that could be used to lower tax rates even 
further or to reduce the debt. Indeed, based on calculations using data 
provided by JCT, the average middle-class family of four could, under 
this proposal, have an extra $1,300 per year in its pocket from the 
combination of lower tax rates in the plan and higher wages due to a 
stronger economy. This is the kind of growth America needs, and these 
are the kinds of policies that can produce a stronger, more robust 
economy that benefits all Americans.
  Before concluding, Mr. Speaker, I want to acknowledge the countless 
hours devoted to this effort by the Ways and Means Committee staff and 
the staffs of the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Office of 
Legislative Counsel. A project this large--on an issue of this 
magnitude--simply could not be undertaken by this institution without 
the dedication, the policy know-how, and the technical expertise of the 
professional staff. We owe all of them our sincere thanks. Indeed, 
their contributions to this proposal extend not just to the legislative 
language of the bill itself, but to a set of helpful explanatory 
materials as well. For those who are looking for a fuller description 
of the legislation I am introducing today as H.R. 1, a section-by-
section summary of the proposal prepared by the Ways and Means Majority 
Tax Staff is available at: Similarly, JCT's 
technical explanation of the proposal--along with JCT's revenue 
estimate, distributional analysis, and macro-economic analysis of the 
proposal--has been published as JCS-1-14, available at https://
  With that, Mr. Speaker, I close by urging my colleagues who will be 
returning in January for the 114th Congress to keep pushing forward and 
to see this tax reform process through to a successful conclusion. It 
would undoubtedly be easier for Congress to hang its head and say that 
the problems with the current tax system are just too big, and that the 
work of tax reform is just too hard. But nothing worth doing is ever 
easy, and tax reform is even more necessary now than it was back in 
1986. Indeed, today's generation of tax reformers should remember how 
the headline in the Washington Post captured the moment when the 1986 
Act finally made it over the finish line--it called tax reform the 
``impossible that became the inevitable.'' I would like to see that 
headline again, and with today's formal introduction of the Tax Reform 
Act of 2014, we take another important step down that historic path.
  I thank the Speaker for reserving the bill number H.R. 1 for this 
legislation, and I hope that the formal introduction of this proposal 
in the House today will help spur further action on this critical issue 
in the 114th Congress.