WASHINGTON, D.C. — Special advisor to the president Ivanka Trump, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, and Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona met Wednesday with grassroots organizations committed to reforming the U.S. tax code in order to make it easier for Americans to have and raise children.
The event was hosted at the offices of Americans for Tax Reform in downtown D.C., with the group’s president, Grover Norquist, acting as the moderator. Norquist has been in constant communication with both the administration and Republican leadership in Congress to achieve what he feels is a reform proposal that will bring growth to the American economy through lower taxes and re-investment in the U.S.
Trump kicked off the event, illustrating how important passing a tax reform that eases the burden of raising children is to the administration and to Congress.
“The issue of child care was central to the campaign and remains a key priority for this administration,” the president’s daughter said. “This administration is committed to keeping working families at the forefront of our agenda.”
Trump discussed how the current tax code almost discourages many Americans from having children, and causes families to spend a disproportionate amount of their income on child care. Some families in the U.S. spend roughly “29 percent of after tax income,” to care for a child, Trump said, a rate that is too burdensome for many Americans to meet.
In an effort to mitigate some of the costs of child care, Trump said that the administration plans to push for the “largest child tax credit” it can possibly get through the House and the Senate. The credit may double to $2,000 per child, up from its current level of $1,000 per child. To assist low-income adults with the costs of rearing a child, Trump also floated the idea of making the tax credit refundable against payroll taxes.
She also notably advocated for reforming the tax code to make childcare more affordable and more accessible since the president started his campaign in 2015. Her plans have included allowing families to deduct child care expenses from their income tax and providing fathers and mothers up to six weeks of paid family leave.
Lee assured those in attendance that he wants “to support tax relief for all parents,” which he described as “something that is fair.” The senator said Trump is a “formidable ally” to have in fighting for this initiative.
Other well-known names in attendance included White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short, Special Assistant to the President on Legislative Affairs Paul Teller and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Santorum likened the American family to a small business, painting them as essential drivers and the backbone of the U.S. economy. He called upon everyone present to take a hard look at the current tax code, “then you will see how the tax code screws the American family.”
The White House is trying to score its first major legislative victory with tax reform, after failing to repeal and replace Obamacare in July.
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