Fort Worth Star-Telegram op-ed
U.S. Representative Ron Wright: House GOP has a plan for economy to come back even stronger after COVID-19 recession.
August 19, 2020
WASHINGTON D.C. Since the beginning of 2020, our nation has been confronted again with incredible, new obstacles associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our record-breaking economy disappeared overnight, forcing many small businesses to shutter and millions of Americans out of work. Between social distancing guidelines and face-mask mandates, our lives today bear little resemblance to the lives we led mere months ago.
And yet, as insurmountable as our current challenges seem, the history of American ingenuity and perseverance leave me confident that these trying times will soon be behind us. After all, Americans have been tested time and time again in ways we never thought possible, and we have always come out on the other side a stronger nation.
While normalcy remains a way off, we are already seeing the fruit of American resolve. After months of shocking unemployment numbers and stock market outcomes, the May, June , July jobs reports smashed economic strategists; expectations. About 9.3 million Americans, including more than 475,000 Texans, have returned to work and our unemployment rate is beginning to drop.
To ensure we continue down the road to recovery, Congress must lay the groundwork for long-term economic success. Thankfully, House Republicans have put forward a pro-growth, pro-family, and pro-worker agenda that will quickly help America rebuild and restore the best economy we have seen in decades. So, what does this look like?
First and foremost, we must continue eliminating burdensome and costly regulations that make it harder for small businesses to get back on their feet. Significant deregulation has long been a priority for Republicans in Congress, and the Trump administration has played a critical role in helping American business weather this pandemic.
Cutting red tape is more important than ever before and we must continue this trend by permanently doing away with regulations lifted during the pandemic. Doing so will lower costs and speed up projects, ensuring that small businesses have the boost they need to come back stronger than ever and that Americans have jobs to return to.
Second, we must build on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that Congress passed in 2017. The largest tax overhaul since Ronald Reagan’s presidency, this historic legislation lowered tax rates, roughly doubled the standard deduction and modernized the tax system.
Beyond making the American economy the most competitive in the world, the law put money back in Americans’ wallets. Making these provisions permanent will go a long way towards restoring our economy.
For this reason, I co-sponsored the Accelerated Long-Term Investment Growth Now, or ALIGN Act, introduced by U.S. Representative Jodey Arrington. The ALIGN Act will make permanent one of the most effective policies in the tax-cut law — provisions to allow full expensing for assets such as machinery. That would give businesses the certainty they need to move forward with long-term investments during these uncertain times.
Lastly, we must bring critical manufacturing back to the U.S. to ensure our nation is self-sustaining and more resilient. The COVID-10 pandemic has been a reality check about the danger of relying on our adversaries, especially Communist China, for vital medical supplies.
In the months and years to come, we need to encourage American companies to return to the U.S. through bills such as the IP Repatriation Act, which would allow companies to bring intellectual property back to the U.S. without tax implications. This common-sense proposal will not only secure our supply chains and make us medically independent from our adversaries; it will also bring high-paying jobs back to our country.
Recovering from COVID-19 will not be easy, but I am certain that with these tools and approaches, our nation will move forward to even more prosperous times.