I support reforming our tax system in a way that will create jobs, strengthen the middle class, encourage entrepreneurs, and help small businesses grow and hire. Tax relief should go to those who need it, not the extremely wealthy. That is why I was a strong opponent of the Republican tax bill that was rushed through the 115th Congress in order to create tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.
Republican Tax Plan
On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the GOP tax plan into law, restructuring our current tax code in a way that prioritizes tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations over the needs of American families. Tax breaks for corporations that will benefit foreign shareholders are permanent, while 86 million middle class American families will see their taxes increase once temporary tax breaks expire. The state and local tax (SALT) deduction is limited, directly and negatively impacting millions of people in New Jersey where the average SALT deduction is worth well over the new limit of $10,000. While families have been hit with higher tax rates as a result of the limiting of SALT and property tax deductions, the wealthiest income bracket will be receiving a 2.5% tax break on their income tax.
I have been ardently opposed to this restructuring and believe that comprehensive tax reform must be a bipartisan effort that helps those most in need of tax relief rather than funneling benefits to the wealthy. The wealthiest in our nation, including those who hold public office, are the last people we should be prioritizing when there are millions who need tax relief in order to keep their heads above water.
In an attempt to ensure that our nation has a compassionate and fair tax system, I have cosponsored numerous pieces of legislation including:
- H.R. 5377, the Restoring Fairness for States and Localities Act. This legislation, which passed the House of Representatives, would eliminate the SALT deduction cap in 2020 and 2021 and double the $10,000 cap for people filing a joint tax return.
- H.R. 1142, the Stop Attacking Local Taxpayers (SALT) Act. Introduced by my fellow New Jerseyan, Rep. Bill Pascrell, this bill would repeal the $10,000 SALT deduction cap and increase the top income tax bracket to 39.6%.
- H.R. 5342, the Supporting America’s First Responders Act. This bill would allow an expense deduction, up to $500, for first responders.
More on Tax Reform
In the 117th Congress, I am looking forward to returning to the three committees on which I served in the 116th Congress: the House Committees on the Budget, Foreign Affairs, and Transportation and Infrastructure. I am honored to be returning as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.
This week, I signed onto legislation to allow tax credits to rollover for childcare costs and signed onto a bill to keep students safe in schools. I also signed onto to letters to urge the President to have the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) set up drive through COVID-19 testing in New Jersey, include pro-worker and pro-labor provisions in the Fiscal Year 2021(FY21) appropriations package, and demand answers from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about the detention of unaccompanied minors.
As the new year begins, the growing unfinished business that remains is a pressing reminder of the work yet to be done when Congress returns to begin the second session of the 115th Congress on January 8th. Over the year, I have received almost 44,000 calls, letters, faxes and emails from constituents to voice your opinions on issues that have the greatest impact on the 8th District of New Jersey.
As the year came to a close, this week in Washington my Republican colleagues focused on passing misguided policies on tax reform and government funding. It is my hope that in the new year my colleagues and I can work in a bipartisan manner to resolve urgent issues, such as reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), passing the DREAM Act, and passing a long-term budget, which have been left as unfinished business as Congress recesses.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Sires voted against the Conference Report on H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 227-203.
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Sires issued the following statement after voting against H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 227-205:
NEWARK, N.J. – Today in Newark, NJ, Representative Albio Sires (D-08), along with Governor-elect Phil Murphy and Democratic members of the New Jersey House delegation, discussed the impact of the House Republican’s tax plan on New Jersey. The plan is estimated to cost many New Jersey families thousands of dollars a year. A total of 1.8 million New Jersey households deduct a cumulative $17 billion in state income or sales taxes from their federal taxes. Those tax deductions would be eliminated under the House GOP bill.
Last week in Washington, I cosponsored a number of bills to enhance veterans’ health, attended two Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearings which examined Russia as a counterterrorism partner and the effectiveness of the Kingpin Designation Act, and spoke on the floor about the dangerous effects of the Majority’s tax plan. I also met with different groups to discuss legislative priorities.