Rep. Brady: House to Pass Bill With Timetable for Tax Reform

Thursday, 02 Aug 2012 09:08 AM

By Patrick Hobin and John Bachman

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Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas told Newsmax.TV that President Barack Obama is obsessed with tax increases and is dug in so heavily on the issue that real progress on the tax question won’t be made until after the election.

Brady, a Republican representing the 8th district of Texas, said not as much progress has been made on the issue of extending the Bush tax cuts. “I’m worried the president’s really obsessed with these higher tax increases,” he said. ‘And Senate Democrats had voted a bill out that would have, by most estimates, cost the economy about $700,000 jobs. You know, we think that’s the wrong recipe right now, in this economy.”

Story continues below video.

A member of the Ways and Means Committee, Brady said he doesn’t think Congress can pass tax cut extension on a year-to-year basis.

“Our tax code’s gotten so complex and so non-competitive with the rest of the world,” he said. “The clock is ticking as far as our economy and our tax code. So that’s why the Republican bill not only stops all the tax hikes, which we think is helpful to the economy, but it sets out some key principles, how far we want to lower the rates, how we want to become competitive again, but, more importantly, what I like, is that it sets a deadline next year for Congress to actually have a guaranteed up or down vote on fundamental reforms. So, in effect, it says to the White House, whoever’s in it, and Congress, whoever’s running it, ‘You need to step up and tackle this issue.’”

Brady said that proposed cuts to the military due to the sequestration — automatic across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to begin in January if a deficit deal is not struck — will harm national security but is hopeful something can be done to avoid it.

“The frustrating part is that here we are with so many still uncertain threats but this is really about the future,” Brady said. “You know, the next war, the next threat will be fought with the decisions we make today, both on our military and the technology. So it doesn’t make sense to let our guard down. These automatic spending cuts I think will be very harmful to national security. And by the way, Republicans believe there need to be cuts in the Pentagon. We believe Defense wastes money. We’re just saying this is a really dumb way to go about it. So we’re hopeful the president will actually sit down with us and we’ve identified cuts that replace all those and more, from we think frivolous spending. We’re hopeful we can have some type of meeting of the minds.”

New tax revenue may be in play for Republicans during negotiations, Brady said, but tax increases are not on the table.

“I think Republicans have already made it very clear we’re not going to vote for tax increases,” the Congressman said. “We think it’s exactly wrong for the economy plus the President has already signed over a trillion dollars of tax increases. Not a dime went to reduce the deficit, just all to new spending.

"Where we I think are open is if they’re talking about new tax revenue. For example, having a more competitive tax code not only creates jobs, it generates more money. Putting our energy workers back to work both in the Gulf and onshore could create not just almost a million new jobs but about $80 billion of new revenue. So from that standpoint we think a strong economy that happens to generate off new revenues for the federal government to pay the debt — we think that’s smart.”

Brady doubts a deal can be struck before the election, however. “It’s no way to run a railroad,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any lawmaker, including me, who thinks this is the smart way to do it. But in this election year with, I think, the President dug in pretty heavily, I see it coming after November. I think a lot gets shaped by how you and I wake up on Wednesday, November 7. Both the shape of the economy and the shape of the future White House and Senate, I think really is going to drive this. But again the sooner we do it the better.”

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