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Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, this evening, we will hear from myself and a colleague from Tennessee, and he is joining me today to talk about how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has benefited our States.
In my congressional district, Kentucky's Second, I have heard from constituents who have seen more money in their paychecks and from businesses that have been able to grow and pass along the benefits of tax reform directly to their employees.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the standard deduction for both individuals and couples. For the 75 percent of residents in Kentucky's Second District who take the standard deduction, this is an automatic tax cut. Additionally, individuals in every tax bracket are paying lower rates.
When I visited Owensboro in February, I met Cheri and Ray Middletown, who own On Time Fab, a small business that provides fabrication services for agricultural, industrial, and commercial productions. Cheri and Ray shared with me that, during the first week of the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, each of the 20 employees of On Time Fab took home more pay as a result of tax reform.
One employee took home as much as $56 a week and more than $200 a month. A single dad working for On Time Fab is bringing home an extra $40 each week. Some thought there was a mistake in their paychecks because they are able to keep so much of their hard-earned money, and $40 a week is over $160 a month.
By cutting the corporate tax rate to make the U.S. competitive globally, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has given businesses the opportunity to pass along savings to their customers. For example, residents of 48 States, plus the District of Columbia, are seeing their utility bills go down because of tax reform.
In Kentucky, the Public Service Commission has ordered investor-owned utilities to track their tax savings and to reduce rates for hundreds of thousands of Kentucky customers. In fact, the Public Service Commission has already announced that Kentucky Utilities' and Louisville Gas & Electric's residential electric customers will see their average monthly bills decreased by 6 percent.
Atmos Energy, which serves western Kentucky, announced in March that it will be cutting the average residential bill by just over 3 percent. Other savings from tax reform will fund infrastructure upgrades across the Commonwealth. Companies in Kentucky have been able to expand their operation because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Owl's Head Alloys in my hometown of Bowling Green recently announced a $3 million expansion which would create 17 new jobs, bringing their total employment in the Second District to nearly 100 good-paying jobs. When I visited their facility in March, Owl's Head owner and president, David Bradford, told me that the economic outlook resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act helped lead to their decision to expand.
This is exactly why we passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: to give American businesses the confidence to grow and expand right in our communities, and to help individual taxpayers keep more of their money. Some might say that an extra $200 a month is just crumbs. For hardworking Kentucky taxpayers, the extra money can go toward a car payment or a mortgage. It can help pay for a child's braces or even for regular expenses like groceries.
The bottom line is that, with more expendable income in their pockets, Americans across the country have more freedom to choose how they spend their hard-earned money. A typical family of four earning $75,000 can expect to pay $2,000 less in taxes this year compared to last year.
I was proud to support the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and I am proud to report that tax reform is making a real difference in the lives of Kentuckians.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have a neighbor to the south of me here today to talk about how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is having a big effect on the lives of not just Kentuckians but all Americans-- particularly Kentucky and Tennessee--so I yield to the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Kustoff), my good friend from suburban Memphis, which is one of the great cities in our area, to talk about the effects of the tax cuts in Tennessee.
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Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Tennessee for yielding back. As he said, Tennessee has seen the benefits from tax reform. Kentucky is seeing the benefits of tax reform and the opportunity for people to move into prosperity as they expand opportunity.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in April, unemployment was at 3.9 percent across the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported that 164,000 jobs were added across the country in April, raising the total since our tax reform bill was signed into law to nearly 800,000 people.
Businesses are confident in our economy because of tax reform. Most businesses are telling me that they are looking for workers, looking for people to have the opportunity to move forward. One of the great reasons that we are trying to do some of the policies that were talked about during the last hour is that we want to see people have the opportunity to work, to go from poverty to prosperity, from dependence to independence.
We want people to have the opportunity to move forward, and a growing economy will allow them to do so because these people are needed in the workforce. They are wanted. They are needed, and I will guarantee you, when we have people in the workforce, they are going to be better off than if they are not. So we are looking forward to moving forward with some of the issues that were talked about earlier.
But tonight we have heard stories about Kentuckians; we have heard stories about Tennesseans who have benefited from tax reform. Hardworking taxpayers are seeing more money in their paychecks. Companies are expanding and creating jobs. Businesses are passing along the benefits of tax cuts to their customers and to their employees, handing out bonuses and raises. We are seeing these stories in our own States and across the country.
This is exactly what we expected when we passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and I am glad to see many of our communities benefiting from this bill. I want to thank my friend from Tennessee for sharing his stories from Tennessee, as I was sharing my stories from Kentucky, and I thank him for joining me tonight to discuss the importance of tax reform.
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