Positive Impacts of Tax Reform

Floor Speech

Date: March 19, 2018
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Taxes


Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, you know that he may call himself a freshman, but Mr. Ferguson--Dr. Ferguson has made his weight felt around here since day one. He ran on a commonsense platform that said: Dadgummit, let's just go and get something done. Let's go and make a difference. Let's stop fussing about it. Let's start doing something about it.

He has developed a reputation as a doer, and I am proud to serve with him. I appreciate him putting together this opportunity tonight.

Mr. Speaker, we talk about tax reform as if it is a line item somewhere. The truth is that it is a feeling. It is a collective sigh of relief that has gone on in every single congressional district represented here.

We have all gotten those calls. I got one just the other day, Mr. Speaker, from a father whose adult daughter had fallen on hard times and has a tough time making the bills work. As someone who had been strapped for the last, 6, 7, 8 years, he was trying to figure out how he was going to help his daughter make the bill balance when he wound up with $1,000 bonus from one of our local employers. It came at exactly the right time to make a difference in his family's life.

It is that collective sigh of relief that better days are coming tomorrow than we had yesterday. I have heard it from the biggest companies in the district and I have heard it from the smallest companies in the district.

The Home Depot is a proud Georgia company. My friend, Mr. Loudermilk mentioned it is headquartered in his district. We have got about seven stores in my district and a distribution facility in our district. Mr. Speaker, $1,000 bonuses from The Home Depot went not to their upper- level management employees, but to their rank-and-file hourly employees at the store. That is real money in somebody's pocket back home. Now, that's just the kind of company that Home Depot is.

We remember that during the economic crisis, when folks were cutting back on everything to try to make the books balance. They kept that program going on Saturday mornings, where you could come out with your kids, where you could build a birdhouse together, where you could build a train together, where you could come together as a family. Even when you didn't have enough dollars to go to a ball game, you could come to your local Home Depot and be present with your children. That is the kind of company they are.

Same thing with UPS. My friend from Georgia knows, UPS has a proud tradition. We won them over from Connecticut. Years ago, Oz Nelson made that decision. Folks in UPS brown, 1,700 employees in my district, are getting bonuses because UPS now has more money to go around.

Now, all the money didn't go into bonuses. Let's be clear, it didn't. UPS put $5 billion in their pension fund.

Mr. Speaker, how many times have we talked about pension funds being underfunded in this country and wanting somebody to do something about it?

UPS got some extra dollars and they put those dollars in the pension fund for their employees.

They announced last month, Mr. Speaker, 14 additional 747 purchases. Now, Boeing is not headquartered in my district, but if you live in Washington State or you live in South Carolina, the news that 14 more planes are going to be purchased means something to those families, to those suppliers, to those subcontractors.

Four new 767s being purchased as a result of extra money that wasn't coming to the Federal Government that is, instead, being reinvested.

My friend from Georgia said it best: companies are now, for the first time in a long time, making decisions based on what is best for them, for their customers, for their employees, and for their communities.

Mr. Speaker, we can argue about what kind of public policy we should have, but can't we agree that one where we are prioritizing people and communities first is one that we can all be proud of?

I was pleased to support the bill. I am pleased to be down here with my friend from Georgia tonight talking about the impacts. I am grateful both to the Chair, Mr. Speaker, and to my friend from Georgia, for your leadership on this tax reform issue, for making it possible.