We live in a new, fast-paced economy that for a long time left too many people behind: young people were unable to find substantive employment after college, millions of Americans were forced to work part-time despite needing full-time work to sustain their families, and wages remained stagnant. Our economy was the victim of self-inflicted wounds, like the 30-hour work week under the Affordable Care Act, burdensome regulation, an unsustainable fiscal policy that relies on deficit spending to fund the government, and a complicated tax code filled with loopholes.
Thanks to historic tax reform efforts and other regulatory changes, the economy is improving. Unemployment is hitting record lows, wages are finally growing, and every day there is greater opportunity for workers and businesses.
As South Florida’s only representative on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, I was proud to be a part of the 2017 historic tax reform efforts. When I was elected in 2016, I demanded fewer and lower marginal tax rates for all Americans to facilitate job creation and a stronger economic recovery, the closing of special interest loopholes, an increased child tax credit for working families raising dependent children, and an expanded earned income tax credit for those earning low wages.
I’m proud to say that our historic tax reform bill fulfilled those promises, and then some. Still, there’s more work to be done. In my position on the Ways and Means Committee, I’ve crafted and led on innovative proposals that use tax policy to combat some of South Florida’s biggest challenges. Specifically, I’ve led on tax legislation to:
As a former small business owner, I know what bureaucratic red tape can do to a small business, its owners, and its employees. That’s why I’ve fought unnecessary regulations in Congress and proposed bipartisan solutions to help small business owners and those they employ. I’ve led efforts to raise the Affordable Care Act workweek requirement to allow 40 hours of work a week instead of 30, and I fought for our local farmers to be recognized as the small businesses they are so they are eligible for support from the Small Business Administration. Following Hurricane Irma, I fought for full funding of the Small Business Administration in order to provide financial assistance to small businesses affected by the storm.
As the former Chairman of the Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade, I highlighted and brought much needed federal attention to many issues of importance to South Florida businesses. I’m proud I successfully brought issues like citrus greening – the devastating disease hurting orange growers and others in Florida – and restricted access to Biscayne National Park to the forefront.
I also championed legislation supporting small business contractors that was signed into law as part of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, and led historic tax reform efforts to ensure small businesses could continue to grow and workers could keep more of their hard-earned paychecks.
I will never stop fighting for the small businesses in our community because when small business succeeds, American families benefit.
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