"to elevate the condition of men--to lift
artificial weights from all shoulders, to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all, to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance, in the
race of life." --Abraham Lincoln
Note: One Weird Trick to Make Tax Reform Happen
Let’s face it: Republicans in Washington must pass tax reform.
The American people elected us expecting us to repeal Obamacare and bring about tax reform.
We haven’t repealed ObamaCare so if we don’t get tax reform done, we are in trouble.
We might as well flip up our tent and go home.
Fortunately tax reform looks to be off to a good start. The nine-page plan released by the White House
Wednesday lowers rates, simplifies the tax code, and encourages businesses to invest in America again.
There is one problem though. The plan is not specific enough about how it will cut taxes for working families. And if
those details aren’t filled in correctly then some working families would see no tax cut at all and others might even suffer a tax hike.
The hitch is that since the current tax plan eliminates the personal exemption,
some families with children would actually pay less under the current system then they would under the White House plan.
This is simply unacceptable and it could spell doom for tax reform.
But don’t worry. There is a solution.
The White House tax plan does call for an increase of the child tax credit, it just doesn’t specify how much. If the tax reform
legislation written by Congress fills in that detail correctly, if they at minimum double the child tax credit and make it applicable to payroll
taxes, then Republicans can follow through on their promise to cut taxes for all working families.
“We’re going to cut taxes for the middle class, make the tax code simpler and more fair for everyday Americans,
and we are going to bring back the jobs and wealth that have left our country,” President Trump said in Indianapolis, Indiana Wednesday.
“We want tax reform that is pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family, and yes, pro-American. It’s time to take care of our people to
rebuild our nation, and to fight for our great American workers.”
Republicans in Congress can follow through on this promise. They can show the nation they can govern. But none of that is going to happen if they
leave working families out in the cold. If tax reform is going to pass it is going to have to benefit all working families.
And the best way to do that is a big increase in the child tax credit.
We can do this. Let’s get this done.
Click here to watch video
Issue in Focus: The Native Species Protection Act
When the pioneers
first moved across the Great Plains, they found them to be covered with foot-tall rodents they eventually called prairie dogs.
Utah is estimated to have had as many as 95,000 of these Utah prairie dogs as late as the 1920s.
But due to disease, drought, and poison, that number had dropped to almost 3,000 in 1972.
In 1973 the Utah prairie dog was listed as an “endangered” pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, and a management plan
was developed bring the species back.
The Utah prairie dog population
quickly recovered and by 1984 the United States Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to reclassify the animal from “endangered” to
“threatened.” Unfortunately the federal government also chose to leave most of the regulations protecting the Utah prairie dog in
Since that time, the Utah prairie dogs have fruitfully multiplied
and now there are now an estimated 40,000 in the state.
If you live far
away in Washington, DC, this may sound like fantastic news, but if you live in southwest Utah, the only place in the world this species of prairie dog
exists, it is not so great.
These critters may be cute, but not only have
they ruined crops and backyards, but they have also been known to invade cemeteries, open coffins, and topple gravestones.
The people of southwest Utah have had enough.
In 2013 some residents of Cedar City, Utah sued the federal government and challenged the authority of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service to manage the Utah prairie dog.
See unlike many species, the Utah
prairie dog exists only in Utah. So the residents of Cedar City argued that since the Utah prairie dog habitat didn’t cross state lines, it did
not affect interstate commerce, and therefore Congress had no power to regulate it under the Constitution.
In 2014 a federal district court sided with the residents of Cedar City and turned management of the Utah prairie
dog over to the state of Utah. For the past two years under state management, the species reached its highest population levels since the 1970s. But
an appeals court overruled the district court’s decision and returned management authority to the Fish and Wildlife Service earlier this
The people of Cedar City shouldn’t have to seek permission
from Washington, DC to control their rodent population.
That is why I
recently introduced, the Native Species Protection Act, which would clarify that the federal government has no regulatory jurisdiction over a
This is a commonsense reform that would limit the
damage caused by federal mismanagement of protected species, while empowering state and local officials to pursue sensible conservation plans with