Good news coming out of Washington, D.C., this week: The U.S. House of Representatives passed a budget resolution by a vote of 216-212. As expected, Indiana Republicans supported the effort, while our two Democrat members voted in opposition. The passage of the budget is fantastic news on its own; however, it also serves as the last procedural hurdle that needed to pass before Congress could officially take up the issue of tax reform.

Next up, the House Ways and Means Committee will mark up the tax reform bill; that could happen as early as next week. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has stated publicly that he hopes to have the full House vote on the package by Thanksgiving. Time will only tell, but Indiana should be well served with Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02) on the important House Ways and Means Committee.

Following the passage of the budget resolution, Walorksi said, “We are ready to move forward with pro-growth tax reform that lets middle-class families keep more of the money they earn and helps businesses expand, invest and hire more workers. Hardworking Hoosiers deserve a tax code that works for them, and that’s what Congress and President Trump are going to deliver with tax reform.”

On the Senate side, Todd Young has been an outspoken proponent of a tax overhaul.

“We haven’t seen a significant tax reform in 30 years come out of Washington, D.C.,” he said. “Hoosiers want tax relief. This framework is going to put more money in the pockets of middle and lower income Hoosiers. The working poor need a tax cut. Middle income Hoosiers need a tax cut.”

“Indiana is the most manufacturing intensive state in the entire country. The manufacturing jobs that are dependent on lowering taxes, making us more competitive against other countries – and those manufacturing workers who work so hard and want to lead lives of dignity and purpose and prosperity – depend on this tax cut,” Young added. The brief video he released goes into more detail.

Meanwhile, Sen. Joe Donnelly – who is being courted by President Trump for his vote – offered his thoughts on the matter at our D.C. Fly-in event a month ago. “My view on tax reform is simple: I want to try to get to ‘yes’. I think it’s much better if it’s bipartisan … I think it’s a much better message to the country.”

When looking at tax reform, the Indiana Chamber is evaluating things by what will accelerate economic growth and expand jobs, and allow the U.S. to be more competitive with other countries. Such a plan should include:

  • lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% – the highest in the world today;
  • lowering the top personal income tax rate while reducing the number of brackets;
  • eliminating the alternative minimum tax (AMT) and the estate tax; and
  • adopting a territorial system in which income earned overseas is not taxed in the U.S.

The Chamber also is pushing for as revenue-neutral a plan as possible.