Tag: Congress

No to a Broken Process

Congress met another funding deadline last week, this time with a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus to fund the government through September.  The 2,200+ page bill was given to me and my colleagues approximately 17 hours before we were scheduled to vote.

When I came to Washington, I made a commitment to Minnesotans to uphold the fiscal conservative principles on which I was elected and do everything possible to fix the broken processes of Congress.

The commitment I made to you is why I voted ‘No’ on the omnibus bill last week.

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About the Budget…

Last week, Congress passed a massive spending bill that raises spending caps and ultimately increases our nation’s $20 trillion debt. Despite some positive provisions in the deal, including funding for our nation’s military, I could not support it.

Here’s why: Over the next two years, this deal raises spending by nearly $300 billion, including an increase to non-defense spending by $131 billion. It fails to pay for these spending increases and provides another debt limit suspension until 2019. Read More

WSJ : Lawmakers Seek to Ease Mortgage-Disclosure Rule for Small Lenders

This article on H.R. 2954, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, was published in the Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2018. Read the full article here.

Excerpts:

The legislation would allow a significant proportion of community banks and credit unions to escape reporting requirements that came into effect this month. The new requirements fall under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, a law enacted in 1975 to curb discrimination against minority borrowers.

The bill introduced by Rep. Tom Emmer (R., Minn.) has a good chance of becoming law because a broad Senate financial-deregulation bill, introduced in November with bipartisan support, includes a similar provision. Mr. Emmer said he expected a few House Democrats to support his bill.

The bill is expected to cover roughly a quarter of the U.S. mortgage market, Mr. Emmer said in an interview.

“These thresholds will still require the Wells Fargos, Bank of Americas and JPMorgans of the world to report data but it will provide relief to little guys, community banks and credit unions,” he said.

Financial institutions, particularly community banks and credit unions, have complained about new disclosure requirements, citing compliance costs and data-security concerns.

Specifically, the legislation would expand the exemption to lenders that originate fewer than 500 closed-end mortgage loans in each of the two preceding calendar years, up from 25 loans currently. The threshold for open-end home-equity lines of credit would be raised to 500 loans a year from 100 loans currently.

Simple is Better

There are big advancements occurring regarding Congress reforming our nation’s tax code.

Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act after dozens of hours of debate and conversation. Chairman Kevin Brady introduced two amendments that were added to the bill to better reflect the demands of the American people – one big change is retaining the Adoption Tax Credit.

The Tax Foundation estimates that under this bill, 19,525 jobs will be added in Minnesota and middle-class Minnesota families are estimated to gain $3,090 in after-tax income.

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Budget Paves the Way for Tax Reform

Last week was a big week in Washington, D.C.  The House passed the budget, which is a fiscally responsible framework that garnered wide support from conservative groups across the country.  I was proud to support this budget, which paves the way for the first substantial tax reform this nation has seen in more than 30 years.

Yesterday, the tax reform text was released, and you can read the bill here.  Even before the proposed bill text was released, democrats were desperately working to fight tax cuts and reform.  Even the Washington Post gave “four Pinocchios” to Senate Democrat claims that it would be “a hefty tax hike” for the middle class and wrote “actually, it’s the opposite.”

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