Following lunch at the White House with President Donald Trump today, Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) and members of the House-Senate Conference Committee held an open meeting to discuss reconciling the House and Senate versions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“We all have to be accountable to our voters, and I’ve always pushed for and promoted a fairer, flatter, simpler tax code, especially for the individuals,” Shimkus said. “In my district, 80 percent currently file without itemizing. Under the House bill that amount will go to 90 percent. That’s 90 percent of my individual filers who will not itemize, and they’ll be able to use a simple postcard.”
Adding to examples Shimkus has previously shared on social media, including a single mom making $30,000and a family of four making $59,000, the congressman cited two examples from correspondence and conversations with constituents in his opening remarks.
“I got a response from one of my constituents who is a self-identified skeptic, responding to my newsletter,”Shimkus said. “He said, ‘I did the math on my taxes as a retired police officer on a pension and working part time and my wife working part time. Estimating a gross income of $76,000 married filing jointly under current law we would pay $6,502. Under the proposed changes, our tax liability drops to $5,592 saving us $910.’”
“I’m from a pretty poor district, but I also have some successful people,” Shimkus added. “I spoke to another constituent who has over $100 million sitting overseas, just waiting to be returned to Illinois to create jobs and put people back to work.”
Shimkus also thanked the Senate for their inclusion of provisions to open a portion of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to energy development, and to sell $600 million worth of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), that allowed him to serve on the conference committee. The SPR provision falls under the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, on which Shimkus serves.