Summary: Today at a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed how Americans are already benefitting from the tax cuts law. He also stressed the importance of putting politics aside to fund our military.

Real Tax Benefits

“After hearing the good news in recent weeks, there’s one thing that is undeniable. And that is that tax reform is boosting America’s economic confidence. Company after company has been announcing that we are having increased bonuses, increased wages, renewed investment in America—all because of tax reform.

“I was at my son’s basketball game on Sunday. And a UAW worker from the Chrysler plant in Belvedere came up to me and said, ‘This is going to get me $4,000 in my paycheck. I thought this was only for the rich. I guess that’s me now.’ I mean, this is working. It’s just the beginning. At the heart of this law is really a lower tax burden for American families, who are going to start seeing this relief very, very soon.

“Last week, the Treasury Department announced that it has adjusted the amount the IRS takes out of people’s paychecks to account for this new law. It’s estimated that 90 percent of wage earners in America will experience an increase in their take-home pay, starting as soon as February. Let me just say that one more time: 90—nine zero—90 percent of American workers will see increased take-home pay as a result of the tax law starting in February. This is incredible. The typical family of four earning the median income of $73,000 will see a tax cut of $2,059. That’s more money to pay down the mortgage, save for a rainy-day fund, or take your kids, your family on vacation. This is real relief to real Americans, especially more than half of whom claim, and say, and show that they’re living paycheck-to-paycheck.

“Another huge benefit for American families? It’s lower energy costs. Look, where I come from, and where Jason comes from, it’s pretty cold right now. Your energy costs are very high. And what we’re seeing is all these utility companies are now saying they’re passing through the tax savings on to the rate payers. So if you’re low income, if you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, if you’re having a hard time just heating your house? This is real relief that’s real tangible.

“So we’re seeing evidence that the tax bill is working in so many ways. Lower energy bills, bigger paychecks, more jobs, more bonuses, maternity leave—this is exactly why we did this, so that we can improve people’s lives.  

Military Funding

“There’s one more point, and Kevin mentioned this: According to the Pentagon, just last year, we lost more American military members who died in training accidents than we did in combat last year. And we have combat across the globe. These deaths may have been preventable. And it all points back to the deterioration of our readiness in our military resources.

“Funding for modernizing the Army has been cut in half in just the past eight years. Navy sailors are putting in 100-hour work weeks, and less than half of their aircraft are capable of flying. The number of fatal accidents or those resulting in the loss of aircraft for the Marines has doubled over the last decade.

“We have to reverse this trend. We have to stop putting these lives at risk. And we have to fix our national security. And that’s why it’s baffling to me that Democrats would be willing to block funding for our military over unrelated issues.

“I used to think the Democrats thought the S-CHIP bill was bipartisan. That children’s health insurance is a bipartisan bill. This was written by Republicans and Democrats. We’ve passed this extension twice this year. We’re going to be bringing it to the floor again this week. Because real deadlines are occurring this Friday. And the real deadlines that occur this Friday are our men and women in uniform and children’s health insurance in many states that will run out of money. And so that is why it is unconscionable to me that they would block funding for our military or cut off funding for these states that really will lose their funding for CHIP by playing these political games and tying them to unrelated issues.”