President Should Work with Congress Toward Acceptable Tax Bill, Says U.S. Bishops Chairman

December 20, 2017 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON— After the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S.Senate passed The Tax Reform and Jobs Act,Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Conference ofCatholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, drewattention to unacceptable problems that remain, and called on President Trumpto insist that Congress fix them before he signs a bill into law.

The full statement follows:

"Today, Congress passed its tax reform legislation, The Tax Reform and Jobs Act, and it hasbeen sent to the President to consider. Thelegislation achieves some laudable things, like doubling the standard deduction,which will help many struggling families avoid tax liability, expanding the useof 529 education plans, and increasing the child tax credit.

However, the Act contains a number of problematicprovisions that will have dramatic negative consequences, particularly forthose most in need. Among other things, theJoint Committee on Taxation indicates that the bill will eventually raise taxeson those with lower incomes while simultaneously cutting taxes for the wealthy.This is clearly problematic, especiallyfor the poor. The repeal of the personalexemption will cause larger families, including many in the middle class, to befinancially worse off. The final bill createsa large deficit that, as early as next year, will be used as a basis to cutprograms that help the poor and vulnerable toward stability. The legislation is also likely to produce upto a $13 billion drop in annual charitable giving to nonprofits that are reliedupon to help those struggling on the margins. This will also significantly diminish the role of civil society inpromoting the common good.

As the President considers the tax bill before him, weask that he take into account the full consequences of its provisions and workwith Congress to remedy them before signing a tax bill into law."

Bishop Frank J. Dewane's December 6, 2017, letteranalyzing the Senate and House bills prior to reconciliation can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/federal-budget/upload/Tax-Conference-Letter-Congress-2017-12-06.pdf

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Keywords: U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee onDomestic Justice and Human Development, tax reform bill, TheTax Reform and Jobs Act, U.S. Congress, Joint Committee on Taxation,tax cuts, Standard Deduction, child tax credit, Affordable Care Act (ACA),charitable giving, tax payers, health care reform, families, poor

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