|11:16 AM EDT||
Richard Neal, D-MA 1st
Mr. NEAL. Mr. Speaker, this motion to recommit must be pretty powerful with that confab that had to take place on the other side.
Now, Mr. Speaker, my friend, Mr. Tiberi--and he is my friend--and I am going to remind all that Mr. Camp did a pretty good job with the draft that he put out. That is not what this is about today.
This is about short-circuiting a long tradition in the Ways and Means Committee as to how tax reform ought to be handled. A reminder, again, 1986 was the last time that we spoke of tax reform in an earnest manner. Mr. Tiberi was, indeed, very animated. I understand the point that he is making.
The problem is, if you do a piecemeal approach to tax reform, you will never do fundamental tax reform. It is like the temptation of repatriation. If you repatriate those dollars, you will never do tax reform. People will just wait for another tax holiday. That is the weakness of the argument that we just heard. A 2-year extension makes a good deal of sense--let some of this economic morass clear up.
Now, Mr. Tiberi was correct when he quoted Jack Lew, an old friend. Economic growth is very weak. The number of people working is the real issue; 200,000 jobs a month won't do it. So why can't we find common purpose and expand the runway in terms of economic growth for all members of the American family? Are you telling me that this austerity package has worked?
By the way, Mr. Tiberi's comment when Mr. Tiberi said the investing class in America and the business class, they are looking for stability, they look at this institution every day and think that they are finding stability, with the arguments that take place here?
There are enough men and women in this institution and on the Ways and Means Committee of good will to continue the conversation that Mr. Camp has begun on tax reform. This is piecemeal. It is an ill-conceived manner and way to do tax reform.
Again, a reminder, the last time we did tax reform, the Internet had not been invented. That ought to tell us the story.
Here is what tax reform might look like: acknowledging that fossil fuel is not going away in the near future, we can still build a path to the renewables by using the Tax Code.
Let's expand the earned income tax credit. Let's embrace new markets tax credits. They have worked in every nook and cranny of this country. Let's take a look and embrace, again, build America bonds.
In reference to Mr. Tiberi's commentary, let me say this as well: yes, we need a permanent R&D credit, but let's make it even more robust. We heard a presentation yesterday in Massachusetts that, in Cambridge and Boston today, you have the greatest concentration of R&D in the world. Do you think I am not for a more robust research and development credit?
Again, good minds ought to be able to find this path forward, and I challenge the Republicans today: let's get on with renewing the Export-Import Bank. That makes a good deal of sense as well, and you know why--because it is sound economic policy.
This idea that theology takes over all in tax debate is a mistake. Embrace what works, not just the rigid ideology of the intransigence that keeps us from finding a common path.
We started out 3 years ago with Mr. Camp's work. For 3 years, we sat together, talked, took substantive testimony, and listened to what people had to say. Come in and defend your preference, come in and defend this deduction. Actually, the conversation was very good.
I can't understand the logic of that very sound conversation bringing us to this intersection of public debate. Are we to throw all of that good will over the side? In this simple moment, are [Page: H5339]
we going to cast aside a deliberative process that really was much of the better that I have had a chance to witness in almost 25 years on the Ways and Means Committee?
That is what you are doing today. You adopt these piecemeal approaches to tax reform, you will never get tax reform.
Think of these numbers: there is more than $2 trillion sitting offshore in cash and tangible assets. The bottom lines of corporate America are stronger than they have been in years.
My last point, downward pressure on wages since 2002 ought to be what motivates us to do tax reform.
I yield back the balance of my time.