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Senator Lankford Supports Senate Tax Reform Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today voted in favor of the Senate version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which passed by a vote of 51 to 49. The House passed their version of the bill on November 16, 2017. The differences between the two bills will now be worked out in a conference committee between the House and Senate. Once the conferenced bill is approved by both chambers, it goes to the President’s desk for his signature. CLICK HERE to read the differences between the House bill and the Senate bill. 

“The American economy is stuck,” said Lankford. “For a decade our economy has been anemic, growing at half the normal rate of growth. Slow economic growth means stagnant wages, fewer new jobs, less construction, and fewer opportunities for people just starting their career. 

“Eight years ago, Democrats in Congress passed a massive government debt-funded stimulus bill to jump-start the economy, but years later, the economy remains stuck. Today, Congress took a different path to economic growth, allowing people to save or spend their own money in their own way. Tax policy should be primarily about funding the basic needs of our government with the least amount of intrusion possible. This tax reform bill provides much-needed relief to Oklahomans by lowering tax rates for the middle class, doubling the standard deduction and child tax credit, as well as repealing the mandate tax to buy government-approved healthcare. The bill also helps small and large businesses by reducing the rates and encouraging businesses to buy new equipment and hire more workers.

Lankford continued, “One of the most difficult aspects for the American people has been to separate fact from fiction in this tax debate. Partisan political spin is easy in a bill this complicated. While people are free to say or post on a website anything they choose, if anyone wants to know the actual facts of the bill, feel free to read the details yourself at: finance.senate.gov/taxreform. Some organizations believe the tax bill will cause deficits and some economists claim the tax bill will provide tremendous economic growth to pay for itself. This bill tries to strike the middle ground by acknowledging our growing debt and our declining economy. We cannot cut enough spending to balance our budget, we must have a growing economy as well. But, as I have often stated, we must continue to find ways to cut spending and identify greater government efficiency, and ultimately follow through with it.”

Notable Benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Lowers all middle-income tax brackets
  • Doubles the standard deduction:
  • For an individual, the standard deduction goes from $6,350 to $12,000. For a married couple, it goes from $12,700 to $24,000
  • For a married couple, the first $24,000 is not taxable and most Americans will be able to file their income taxes on a single page
  • Doubles the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000 to help more families with children
  • Protects family farms by doubling the exemption for estate taxes
  • Doubles the deduction for school supplies for teachers, from $250 to $500
  • Protects college students by maintaining the deduction for interest paid on student loans
  • Gives small businesses a much lower tax rate that is competitive with major corporations, by allowing the deduction of 23% of qualified business income
  • Allows companies of all sizes to write off certain capital expenses in the same year they have those expenses
  • Economic projections:
  • Increases GDP by 3.7% over the long term and 2.9% higher wages, according to the Tax Foundation
  • Increases GDP between 3% and 5%, according to the Council of Economic Advisers
  • Raises an additional $1.26 trillion in federal revenues from economic growth, making the bill practically revenue neutral, according to the Tax Foundation
  • Lowers the corporate business tax rate from 35 percent, one of the highest in the world, to a competitive 20 percent
  • Repeals the Obamacare individual mandate that raised taxes on middle income families in Oklahoma, but it maintains all of the subsidies for lower income individuals
  • More than 60 percent of American households will get at least a $100 tax cut, according to a modest estimate from the Joint Committee on Taxation
  • Stops the incentive for businesses to move overseas and encourages American companies to bring their international profits back to America, by moving to a territorial tax system
  • Keeps graduate student tuition waivers as a tax exemption, unlike the plan passed by the House.
  • This bill does nothing to alter or change Medicaid or Medicare policy. Claims that automatic cuts will be made to these programs are unfounded.