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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 9, Small Business Tax Cut Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SESSIONS. Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of this rule and the underlying bill. House Resolution 620 provides a structured rule for H.R.
9, the Small Business Tax Cut Act. The bill was introduced on March 21, 2012, by our leader, the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Cantor), and was ordered reported by the Committee on Ways and Means on April 10.

The rule provides for consideration of an amendment in the nature of a substitute as is standard practice for this legislation when dealing with tax policy.

Madam Speaker, today we will be considering the underlying legislation, which will allow the House of Representatives yet another opportunity to ease the burden on small businesses across America by giving them the economic tools to create jobs and to help grow our economy. It would be an understatement not to recognize that this country, including small business, is under duress.

We are under duress in this country. The economic circumstances, which abound across the entire country, are not only obvious to every one of our citizens but also to this body, and we are here doing our job today following through not just in regular order, but the process to make sure that we are talking about what Congress should be doing to aid small business. I believe that by giving them the economic tools, the free enterprise system and entrepreneurs, men and women, will know exactly what to do because we're allowing them competitive advantages.

Earlier this week, congressional Democrats and President Obama offered their competing plan, and their plan is to raise taxes on small businesses. We disagree with that.

Today, the Republicans in the House of Representatives, under the great tutelage and leadership of our majority leader, Eric Cantor, offer a different vision for America. Despite their best effort, congressional Democrats think that we can tax our way to improving our economy. It's really simple logic. Increasing taxes on job creators will not help create jobs. It will place new impediments and roadblocks for not just job creation, but the opportunity for business and small business to be successful.

Congressional Republicans, once again today, will stand with small businesses across the Nation as we demand less government intervention and more marketplace creativity and the opportunity for small business to get what it needs.

Madam Speaker, as this Congress and the American people know, job creators are small businesses. They are the engine of our economy and, as a former chairman of the board for a small chamber of commerce in Dallas, Texas, the Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce, I saw firsthand entrepreneurship and the availability of talent that was necessary in small business. That same engine of our economy is what we are trying to restart and ignite today. Congressional Republicans will continue to promote job creation through robust economic growth because we must grow our economy by giving those job creators a chance to get that done.

H.R. 9 will allow small businesses under 500 full-time employees to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their domestic business income. So, no matter how they're organized under the Tax Code, under the bill the size of the tax cut is kept at 50 percent of W 2 wages paid, encouraging increasing hiring. I have been in touch with small businesses across Dallas, Texas, and across that area, and we do understand that small business wants to come and create more jobs to increase the amount of not just employment, but to help them grow their businesses. In return, what happens is that loyalty that comes from entrepreneurship to those employees and obviously, then, Uncle Sam, gets the advantage because taxes are being paid instead of paying for unemployment.

Small business, we know, employs about half of our private sector workforce and generates 65 percent of our new jobs. What we are here on the floor talking about today supports ideas that come straight from these small business job creators, directly from men and women, many minorities, many moms who are in the marketplace who are trying to help their family to make sure that they can perhaps pay for their kids to go to college, ideas that they have.

Entrepreneurship, the American Dream, is what we are talking about today, and we need to keep that dream alive. With an unemployment rate consistently over 8 percent for the past 3 years, it's time that we not only take aggressive action, but that we do the things that are being asked for that will create jobs.

In my home State of Texas, the 14 million citizens who work for 387,000 small businesses and 1.69 million sole proprietorships will see immediate benefits from this bill. They call that relief. They call that competitiveness, and we call it up here giving back to those job creators what they need by listening to them and then offering solutions. Those real Texans are struggling even in the midst of perhaps one of the best economies in this country. Texans are still struggling, and small business needs this opportunity today.

Madam Speaker, just a few weeks ago, Congress and the President came together to pass what was known as the JOBS Act, a bill designed and designated to generate unique sources of new credit for small business. I was proud to manage that rule and for legislation that not only passed on a bipartisan effort, but has become law.

This underlying bill today applies those very same principles. But instead of opening up new avenues of credit, this legislation before us enables the very same small businesses to keep more of what they have earned and to reinvest into their own business and to make sure that that capital that was difficult to achieve is now possible through their own success.

Democrats, quite likely, as we have heard up in the Rules Committee and seen in the press, will oppose this novel concept because they really want Washington lawmakers and bureaucrats, not our hardworking constituents back home, to have the availability to get those dollars. I'm proud to tell the small businesses in the congressional district that I represent in Dallas, Irving, Addison, and Richardson, Texas, that with this bill those small businesses, not just in my congressional district that I am lucky to represent, but all across this country, will be able to see the potential, will be able to grow and succeed and, perhaps most of all, it is a group of people in Washington who are willing to listen to the needs of small business, men and women who are trying to create the avenues of success, not just for them and the American Dream, but also for more employees.

I encourage my colleagues to vote for this fair rule and the underlying bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. SESSIONS. Thank you for yielding me the time, and I hope that the substance that I provide back is of great measure to the gentleman's request.

First of all, let me say I know Bruce Bartlett. I had a chance to work with Mr. Bartlett when I served as vice president of the National Center for Policy Analysis. Mr. Bartlett was a contributor not just to the NCPA, but of economic terms.

I will completely agree with Mr. Bartlett that there are many out there who have successful businesses. Our point is we want them all to grow. Successful businesses are able to hire new people. Unsuccessful businesses struggle and cannot provide not only an increase in the amount of pay, but also the benefit issue becomes difficult. So we want people to be successful. And I think Mr. Bartlett is correct. It's a wide swath.

I want small business, because of the size, not because of how successful they are, to be able to employ more people. And that's what Republicans are trying to do. Guilty as charged.

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Mr. SESSIONS. Here's what I can give. Mr. Bartlett is wrong, because I know there will be at least one new net job created, and I know that because the testimony and information that I received last week as I was at the North Dallas Chamber, several people told me this is exactly what they need. They needed the jobs bill to get credit. They need this opportunity.

And what's interesting is, on the reverse side, is where Illinois, in January, a full year ago, passed a bill which increased taxes, and they lost 58,000 jobs in Illinois quickly because of high taxes. We're trying to make it easier to grow small business. Mr. Bartlett seems like there will be no new job growth--there will be--and he knows better than that.

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Mr. SESSIONS. The answer is no. And I would reply to the gentleman, I saw in this House of Representatives when former Speaker Pelosi increased the amount of money that we had in our Member reimbursement account, we went out and did more, and I hired an additional person at that rate.

If given an opportunity, small business wants to grow and they want to add employees, and this is what nobody seems to understand in this town.

We are for growing our economy. No one on our side would do something that wouldn't necessarily work. We are doing it because this is what people are asking for to grow the economy.

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Mr. SESSIONS. Thank you very much for yielding.

As the gentleman knows quite well from the legislation and from the hearing which we had in the Rules Committee yesterday, that while these are great questions that you ask, the answer is we do not tell them what to do. There are no limitations in this bill that would say that you must or must not do these things. We don't do that.

We try and encourage, on the Republican side, and believe that this is what small business is asking for. I think you will be shocked with not only the success, if we had testimony from these small businesses, but this is what they're asking for.

Let's go to the worthiness of why would we possibly push an agenda that will never be held to the light of day with a vote in the United States Senate--for the same reason that the President will never get a tax increase from John Boehner. This Republican House will not increase taxes, and so I don't know why the President is doing what he's doing.

Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. All of what my friend says is most regrettable. One of the things that I'm sure Members in your Conference are concerned about is the fact that this is a 1-year measure.

Am I correct about that?

Mr. SESSIONS. I believe that would be correct.

Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Tell me then, how many times have we passed anything 1 year that's a tax something or another that cuts taxes? Let's take the Bush tax cuts that lasted 10 years that are soon to expire. How is it then that you expect that this is not going to go beyond 1 year? One year already is going to cost $46 billion.

Now my friend is a deficit and a debt hawk, and I like to think that I'm conservative enough to feel that the deficit and the debt are matters that we should address in order to give Americans opportunity. Toward that end, what is a $46 billion measure going to do, other than blow a hole in the deficit, since it's not paid for?

I yield to my friend.

Mr. SESSIONS. I appreciate that and thank you so much for asking the question.

The gentleman was here in 1997. The exact same arguments took place as we worked with President Clinton, and we were told on this floor a capital gains tax cut will result in $9 million not coming into the Treasury, and $554 million appeared quickly in that same tax year.

I would say to the gentleman, if we encourage people to go do things, they will turn things into great opportunities.

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Mr. SESSIONS. Madam Speaker, we're hearing a lot of rhetoric today about all these millionaires that are out there. And I would be for their ideas if they worked, but the facts of the case are what they create is less opportunity.

The IRS, on their Web site, shows that there were 37 percent fewer people who filed as millionaires one year over the next. That's the latest information we have on the IRS Web site--37 percent fewer people reported numbers of $1 million or more. That falls right in line with what's happening as America goes into bankruptcy. Because this is about fairness. Well, it shouldn't be about fairness. It should be about opportunities, creating more opportunities. That's the same reason why this same rhetoric, why 63 percent of our children move back in to our homes when they finish college--lack of opportunities. That's not fair. Fairness is opportunity and the chance for people to go make something better of their lives.

What we're talking about today will help some 54,509 women-owned businesses in the State of Texas alone that account for 483,000 individuals. That's what we're trying to help and save. This is the right thing. I'm very proud of it.

I know what they want to do is raise taxes. I know what they want to do is call it fairness. All it simply does is cause further economic malaise and deficiencies all across this country of small business.

Madam Speaker, at this time I'd like to yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Nugent), the gentleman who sits on the Rules Committee.

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Mr. SESSIONS. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

By the way, President Obama even admitted that did not work, that shovel-ready proposition that he tried to sell across the country simply did not work. I would be for the President's ideas if they worked. What they're about is the supposed fairness, which diminishes the economic opportunity for this country to grow and have jobs and make small businesses grow.

Madam Speaker, at this time I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from West Virginia (Mrs. Capito).

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Mr. SESSIONS. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

By the way, President Obama even admitted that did not work, that shovel-ready proposition that he tried to sell across the country simply did not work. I would be for the President's ideas if they worked. What they're about is the supposed fairness, which diminishes the economic opportunity for this country to grow and have jobs and make small businesses grow.

Madam Speaker, at this time I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from West Virginia (Mrs. Capito).

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