New year, same old problems

By US Representative Adrian Smith
R-Nebraska

I always look forward to reconnecting with my family and friends over Christmas in one of the most beautiful places in America – the Nebraska panhandle. Although 2021 is over, many of the same challenges Democrats failed to tackle last year as they continued their extreme economic and social agendas await the House’s resumption next week.

We enter 2022 with record inflation and continuing rampant spending. In December, I opposed the increased debt ceiling and government short-term finance bills introduced by President Pelosi.

The $ 2.5 trillion debt ceiling increase contained no budget reform and gives Democrats a blank check to implement the rest of President Biden’s failed economic agenda until this year.

Government funding expires again on February 18 and another deal is needed until then to keep the federal government open. So far, Democrats are continuing their efforts to revoke the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortions, preventing negotiators from moving into more in-depth discussions on spending levels. I continue to oppose higher spending levels and efforts to remove the Hyde Amendment.

As labor shortages and supply chain issues continue, Senate Democrats will likely continue to work on President Biden’s so-called Build Back Better Act, which I opposed in the House. before Thanksgiving.

One of the major elements of this package is a one-year extension of the Expanded Refundable Child Tax Credit (CTC) enacted last summer by President Biden. I supported doubling the child tax credit from $ 1,000 to $ 2,000 per child as part of comprehensive tax reform in 2017, as it can be a great tool to help working families meet their basic needs.

However, I strongly opposed converting the CTC to a fully refundable monthly payment last year. Not only is this the worst possible time to pay Americans who won’t return to work, but I’m concerned that many hard-working families will be disappointed with lower tax refunds or owe money on their tax returns. income this spring because they received unsolicited checks from the federal government.

Democrats’ focus on the BBB and the CTC has also kept us from addressing more pressing tax issues, like the expiration of a tax provision known as EBITDA, which ensures that intensive industries capital such as manufacturing can fully deduct the costs of the investments needed to create more productive capacity and jobs.

We also left several big economic opportunities on the table last year, and I hope the Biden administration will prioritize trade in 2022.

Not only have they abandoned trade talks initiated by the Trump administration, like the UK and Kenya, but several important trade laws have been allowed to expire because Democrats are trying to exploit them to impose new demands on trade. work and environment to our business partners.

One of these provisions, the Generalized System of Preferences, provides trade opportunities for developing countries and enables the United States to fight unfair trade by revoking these preferences. Another, the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill, allows US manufacturers to import inputs not available in the domestic market duty-free in order to support domestic manufacturing. While we need to regularly review these programs to make sure they meet their goals, both are important enough that they won’t be held hostage by outside issues.

After two difficult years, 2022 has the potential to be a year of promise for families in our state and country. To make sure that happens, Congress needs to get back to the basics of governance and make sure our laws encourage and reward hard work. We need to stop printing money, give certainty to small businesses and agricultural producers, and recognize why government intervention has failed instead of repeating the mistakes of the past.

I will be returning to DC next week with these goals.