Brady: Inspired by trip to Reagan Ranch

This past weekend I toured former President Ronald Reagan's ranch in the mountains near Santa Barbara, California. Beautifully preserved for future generations by the Young America's Foundation, this modest cabin that President Reagan so loved served as the 'Western White House' for his two terms in office. It was the setting for numerous historic visits, including the signing of Reagan's historic budget and tax cuts in 1981.

As chairman of the tax-writing House Ways & Means Committee, I continue to be inspired by President Reagan's 1985 national address to the American people as he challenged them to join him in boldly reforming the broken, complex tax code.

"For the sake of fairness, simplicity, and growth, we must radically change the structure of a tax system that still treats our earnings as the personal property of the Internal Revenue Service. The proposal I'm putting forth tonight for America's future will free us from the grip of special interests and create a binding commitment to the only special interest that counts - you, the people who pay America's bills," said Reagan. "My fellow citizens, let's not let this magnificent moment slip away. Tax relief is in sight. Let's make it a reality. Let's not let prisoners of mediocrity wear us down. Let's not let the special interest raids of the few rob us of all our dreams."

Those words ring true today.

Washington's horrible tax code has tripled in size since President Reagan and Congress last reformed the code more than three decades ago. Tax relief is in sight. But already special interests have begun their cynical attacks on tax reform, preferring to kill it in order to preserve their lobbyist loopholes, carve-outs and exemptions.

On Tax Day, President Trump called me to discuss our historic opportunity. It is his top priority, and he is eager to lead with bold reforms that must start in my committee. This week he will unveil his key principles for tax reform. I look forward to working with him and the Senate to enact this year a fairer, simpler tax code that gives Americans more control of their hard-earned wages and leapfrogs our nation back into the lead pack of the most competitive countries in the world.

* * *

Over the Easter work period I held nearly a dozen local town hall meetings, as well as a live telephone town hall meeting to reach constituents conveniently in their homes.

They understand ObamaCare is a sinking ship that will soon take down a lot of Texans who are starved for affordable health care. Faced with skyrocketing costs, fewer insurers and restricted access to local doctors and hospitals, they are hoping Congress and President Trump can soon find consensus on a thoughtful, patient-centered plan that makes health care affordable again.

So do I. Over Easter constructive, positive discussions have taken place among those in the U.S. House who aren't to "yes" yet but indicate they want to finally deliver on their promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Time will tell. Good proposals have been drafted. As a leader of the health care reform bill I'm hopeful these conversations will continue until common ground among Republicans is reached, and the bill is sent to the Senate.


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