Weekly Columns

It’s the season of giving, and Congress wants to celebrate it by giving you more of your money back. This year, Congress is on track to provide historic tax relief to hardworking Americans by passing the first comprehensive legislation to overhaul our tax code in over 30 years. 

Our current tax code makes it difficult to get ahead in today’s economy and to save for the future. That’s why the Senate spent significant time developing a comprehensive tax reform plan that will allow families to keep more of their money rather than send it to Washington.

This tax overhaul has been a thorough, years-long process. The Senate Finance Committee has held 70 hearings on how to simplify the tax code and make it fair and more efficient for all Americans. The committee’s working groups created bipartisan solutions that were used to help guide members as they crafted legislation that will lower federal income taxes across the board.

I was pleased to support the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act because of the relief it will provide to middle-income Arkansans. The standard deduction doubles to $24,000 for married couples. This means that families aren’t subject to federal income tax for the first $24,000 they make. Similarly, the standard deduction increases to $18,000 for single parents. The Senate plan also doubles the child tax credit to $2,000. These improvements will help families keep more of their hard-earned money to help make ends meet or save for the future. 

According to the Tax Foundation’s state-by-state analysis, the Senate bill will add 7,800 new full-time jobs to the Arkansas economy and middle-income Arkansas families would see a $2,020 increase in income. 

In addition to providing relief to the middle-class, this update to our tax code will help grow the economy. The bill permanently reduces the corporate tax rate, currently the highest in the developed world. The lower corporate tax rate will make American businesses more competitive and keep well-paying jobs here at home. It will also help small businesses expand, invest in their employees and increase wages.

While the federal government cannot create jobs, it can implement policies that create an environment that encourages job creators to expand and invest. This overhaul of the tax code is an invitation to do business in the United States.

This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. While members of both chambers have to hammer out the differences between the Senate and House bills before delivering a final package to President Trump for his signature, our goal remains the same - provide Americans with a more fair, simpler tax system that encourages job growth while keeping more money in the pockets of hardworking individuals. I look forward to supporting a final bill that achieves this.