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ROGER WICKER: Administration, Congress focused on getting tax reform across the finish line

The House of Representatives has since acted to approve the same budget, demonstrating the unified support among Republicans in Congress to produce results for the American people in the form of pro-growth, job-creating tax cuts.

A few days after the Senate’s budget vote, President Trump reiterated his commitment to getting tax reform done, joining Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill to discuss the next steps. The conversation was productive, recognizing the accomplishments that the administration and Congress have achieved this year, such as regulatory reform and the appointment of conservative judges to the federal bench. Major changes to the tax system would be a congressional accomplishment not seen in over 30 years.

Reform is desperately needed. Americans spend an excessive amount of time and money filing their taxes every year because of an overly complicated and outdated tax code. The Trump administration has worked with Congress to put together a bold outline of tax ideas in the best interest of American workers, businesses and middle-class families. The goal now is to get these ideas across the finish line, putting more money in Americans’ pockets, simplifying tax returns and giving the economy the jolt it has needed for a decade.

As the President and congressional Republicans have continually emphasized, this once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide relief to America’s middle-class families is not to be missed. But a number of legislative hurdles still need to be overcome, including the introduction and subsequent passage of a tax bill in the House and in the Senate. These bills are expected early next month, and I am confident Congress can work quickly to send them to the President’s desk before the holidays.

Another major legislative item nearing the finish line is the final version of the annual defense authorization bill, which outlines the resources our troops need. The versions of the defense bills that passed in the Senate and House earlier this year are currently in the conference process, where any differences in policy can be reconciled. Both chambers will have the chance to vote on the final version before sending it to the President’s desk for his signature.

I am eager for the defense bill to become law, since both the House and Senate have supported my “SHIPS Act,” which would establish as U.S. policy the need to meet the Navy’s requirement for a minimum of 355 ships. This provision to build a bigger fleet is important to the future preparedness of our Navy and Marine Corps, which have been strained to meet their operational demands across the globe. Like tax reform’s bolstering of U.S. competitiveness, a larger Navy would produce its own positive outcomes in the form of greater national security and global stability.