WASHINGTON (DC BUREAU) -- House lawmakers returning to work Monday to begin taking up their landmark tax reform plan.
“Excited. It’s an exciting day," Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA-3) said.
Mike Kelly is celebrating the long-awaited day. Members of the House Ways and Means committee released the plan last Thursday. It is a proposal Kelly said will make America globally competitive and give a big boost to his constituents' take-home pay.
“They’re actually going to be able to keep more of their hard earned money and spend it the way they think it should be spent instead of sending it to Washington and saying boy I don’t mind paying my taxes but I wish they would spend it the right way," Kelly added.
Both Kelly and New York Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY-23) have a hand in the creation of the proposal they say has been decades in the making.
“We’ve always hoped for this day and now we have the opportunity," Reed said.
Reed said he’s spent seven years working on this during his time in the House and hopes the new plan will be life-changing for people back in New York.
“Take a typical family of four in our district, that’s $1,600 that they’re going to get to keep in their savings account. They’re going to be able to go maybe on a trip.”
Reed and Kelly said the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act delivers relief to all Americans reducing the tax rate for low and middle-income workers. But opponents of the bill said it’s those Americans that will be hurt the most.
“What they take home is probably minuscule," Alexandra Thorton, Senior Director Tax Policy with the Center for American Progress said.
Thorton said the bill gives huge tax break to the wealthy and it blows a $1.5 trillion hole in the deficit, which could lead to bigger cuts to vital programs later on.
Another concern she said is how quickly GOP lawmakers are trying to push this through.
Reed and Kelly said they want this done by the New Year.
“The tax reform act of 1986 it took place over a process of years. It took years and there are a lot of provisions in this bill that we have only just seen," she added.
The Ways and Means committee plans to finish their debate on the proposal by Wednesday. They plan to move it to a vote in the House by next week.
GOP lawmakers are remaining hopeful they can get this through both the house and the Senate by Thanksgiving. That’s just over two weeks away.