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A Historic Trifecta of Conservative Policy Goals Nears Reality

Speaker Boehner's Press Office -

Some big things are within reach. Last night, the final Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was released, following the House-Senate conference committee. This sets up a historic vote next week on legislation that would finally achieve policy goals that conservatives have pursued for years and even decades.

Take a step back and see what this legislation could accomplish.

1. It is the first major tax reform in a generation. 

This is, of course, the biggest deal. Considered the "crown jewel" of a conservative policy agenda, tax reform is what is needed to boost the economy, create jobs, and of course, cut taxes. It's something Republicans have talked about for years. For families, our plan lowers individual tax rates, making sure Americans get to keep more of their hard-earned money. It also nearly doubles the standard deduction, meaning that the “zero bracket,” which the federal government doesn’t tax at all, will be expanded to $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for married couples. And our plan also doubles the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000 for each child—bringing relief to folks raising families.

What do these updated provisions mean for real people? The average family of four making $73,000 a year will see a tax cut of $2,059. The plan also restores fairness and brings the tax code into the 21st century. It eliminates the carve-outs for special interests, prioritizing the American people over the well-connected. It lowers taxes for American job-creators, big and small, making America more competitive with the rest of the world, creating new opportunity, and boosting up wages. As the Wall Street Journal put it, it's "a tax reform for growth."

2It eliminates Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty tax.

This is the linchpin of Obamacare—the individual mandate makes it illegal for people not to purchase a government-approved health care plan, and the government levies a major tax if people make the choice not to. Republicans in Congress have voted countless times to repeal this burden, but have never been able to get a bill into law. That could change very soon. 

The individual mandate punishes people for making decisions that make the most sense for them and their family. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act does away with it, giving people much-needed relief and flexibility to buy the health care that’s right for them.

3. It opens up part of ANWR for energy development.

There is a section of non-wilderness federal land in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), located in Alaska, that is known to be abundant in oil reserves. Unfortunately, it has been previously banned for energy development, thanks to the insistence of special interests. This ban goes against the petitions of the Alaska delegation, which understands the benefits that oil drilling would bring to the state. If it becomes law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will open this area up for energy exploration and development.

This would mean more energy developed here at home, instead of relying on other nations for our nation’s energy needs. Developing homegrown energy is always preferable, especially because some of these nations are hostile to the United States and our interests. It also means revenue of almost $1 billion in 10 years streaming into the United States Treasury, helping pay for the tax cut that Americans need and deserve. Developing this portion of ANWR also means thousands of good-paying jobs in Alaska and throughout the country. It would give the U.S. economy the boost that comes with major energy development.

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