WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following repeated calls by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to preserve retirement savings for workers, reports indicate that the U.S. House of Representatives has reversed course and decided not to touch retirement savings plans in its tax reform bill out today.
“Thank you to all those in Ohio and across the country who stood up and said ‘hell no’ to those in Washington who wanted to cut take home pay for working people and make it harder for them to save for retirement,” said Brown. “President Trump and I agree that tax reform should put money back in the pockets of working Americans and make it easier for them to save – not hand a tax cut to corporations who outsource jobs. I hope he will work with me to do that in the Senate bill.”
In September when news first surfaced that Republicans were considering paying for tax reform by forcing all workers into Roth retirement savings plans, Brown immediately spoke out. At a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee – which oversees taxes – Brown vowed a “hell of a fight” against these reports, warning that changes to 401(k) contributions that reduce workers’ take home pay and eliminate incentives to save were a nonstarter for tax reform. A lower limit on Ohioans’ contributions to their 401(k) or Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) would raise taxes, reduce workers’ take home pay, and make it more expensive for Ohioans to save for retirement.
President Trump tweeted last week that tax reform would not change 401(k) contributions. Last Monday, Brown applauded President Trump’s promise not to reduce 401(k) and IRA contribution limits for working families. Brown, along with U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Bob Casey (D-PA), expressed strong support for President Trump’s recent commitment to protect retirement savings plans, in a letter sent to leaders last week. Read the full letter here.
Brown has offered to work with President Trump and members of Congress on tax reform that focuses on cutting taxes for middle class families and rewarding corporations that keep jobs in the U.S.
Earlier this month, Brown gave the President copies of his tax bills at a bipartisan meeting at the White House. The President expressed support for the ideas and interest in working together. Both of Brown’s bills have overwhelming support from the Democratic caucus, making them key to any bipartisan tax reform plan.
- Brown’s Working Families Tax Relief Act expands access to and increases the value of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), to ensure that no worker can be taxed into poverty by the federal tax system and working parents receive the support they need. Ivanka Trump has repeatedly supported refundable tax credits for working families, particularly a modest expansion of the CTC. 46 Democrats support Brown’s bill, showing it is key to any bipartisan package.
- Brown’s Patriot Employers Tax Credit would reward employers who keep jobs in the United States and pay workers well – encouraging them to create even more good-paying jobs in the U.S. 47 Senators voted for Brown’s bill last week, showing it is key to any bipartisan package. President Trump suggested he would support a bill like Brown’s in an interview with Forbes last week, saying, "I also have another bill... an economic-development bill, which I think will be fantastic. Which nobody knows about. Which you are hearing about for the first time... Economic-development incentives for companies. Incentives for companies to be here." Companies that keep jobs in America get rewarded; those that send operations offshore "get penalized severely." "It's both a carrot and a stick," says the president. "It is an incentive to stay. But it is perhaps even more so—if you leave, it's going to be very tough for you to think that you're going to be able to sell your product back into our country."