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Kansas Chamber of Commerce's 1st Annual Congressional Luncheon


Location: Unknown

This week I attended the Kansas Chamber of Commerce's 1st Annual Congressional Luncheon in Wichita. My colleagues from the Kansas delegation and I discussed many issues such as immigration reform, tax reform, business uncertainty, healthcare, entitlement spending, and of course, jobs, with about 250 Kansas business leaders.

I specifically addressed efforts being made by Congress to pass tax reform legislation in 2013. As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, this is one of our top priorities and something we have been working on for months. Successful pro-growth tax reform would broaden the base, lower marginal rates, close loopholes, and end special tax breaks. In addition to reducing federal spending, tax reform could create one million jobs in the first year alone. But this is a difficult thing to do without consensus in the House and Senate, or support from the president.

Unfortunately, the current administration has refused to get on board. So it really depends on what happens in November--presidential leadership is vital. Without a change, it will be nearly impossible. President Obama prefers distractions like the Buffet Rule or raising taxes on corporate jets. If we have a new president come November, however, then chances increase dramatically. It will still be difficult, but at least we would have a willing and constructive partner to work with.

Tax reform is an important tool that can help get the economy back on track and improve business certainty so that employers can start hiring again. The Ways and Means Committee, already passed a tax reform plan last month that would provide a fast-track procedure and establish guidelines to force Congress to do its job come January. Now, we need support on both sides of the aisle, in both chambers, and from the administration.

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