House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) addressed AGC’s Highway and Transportation Division during AGC’s 97th Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Chairman Brady’s committee is responsible for tax issues in the House including Highway Trust Fund motor fuel tax revenue. He said he was pleased that Congress was able to find sufficient revenue last year to fund the FAST Act for the next five years but he believes we need to get back to a user fee-based revenue source. He reported that transportation committee chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) is organizing a summit of key House members and outside stakeholders to discuss the best route to a long-term, sustainable solution.
Rep. Brady also reported that tax reform is a top priority for him and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc). He is looking to make the tax code pro-growth, noting that it is currently too costly, too complex, and unfair. He said the six principles he will follow in tax reform are:
- Make the code fair, flatter
- Small businesses should not pay higher rates than big businesses
- Close deductions, exemptions and loopholes to allow for lower rates
- Must be competitive around the world with rates in other countries.
- Must not be used to bail out Washington’s spending problem.
He said that comprehensive tax reform historically happens only once in a generation. Since the last reform was in 1986, the time to get it done is now. He noted that politically it will be difficult to pass, so will be a bipartisan effort.
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