Paul Ryan Delivers Speech on Vision for Tax Reform

United For HomesHouse Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered a speech on his vision for tax reform at the 2017 National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Summit on June 20. His remarks touched on the potential legislation’s scope, timing, and design. During his speech, Mr. Ryan mentioned his desire to maintain the mortgage interest deduction (MID). Preserving the MID in its current form would miss an opportunity for modest reforms that would target scarce federal housing resources to those who need it most.

Mr. Ryan indicated that he hopes to see a comprehensive tax reform bill passed by the end of 2017. “Our goal is to get it done by the end of the year,” Mr. Ryan said. “We think it is very much doable.” Such legislation, he said, would eliminate many deductions, exemptions, exclusions, and credits, and use savings from reforms to cut rates for businesses and individuals.

Mr. Ryan stated that he would like the proposed tax cuts to be permanent. “Temporary reforms will only have a negligible impact on employment and economic growth,” he said. Under Senate rules, permanent tax cuts could not be passed through the reconciliation process that requires only a majority vote and would require the bipartisan support necessary to garner the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.

The United for Homes campaign, led by NLIHC, calls on the president and Congress to embrace smart reforms to the MID. These include reducing the amount of a mortgage eligible for a tax break from $1 million to $500,000—impacting fewer than 6% of mortgages held nationally—and converting the deduction into a credit, which would create a new tax break for 15 million low and moderate income homeowners who currently do not benefit from the MID. These changes would result in $241 billion in savings over 10 years to be reinvested into critical rental housing solutions, like the national Housing Trust Fund and rental assistance, for families with the greatest needs.

Representative Keith Ellison’s (D-MN) “Common Sense Housing Investment Act” (H.R. 1662), reintroduced in the 115th Congress, calls for the United for Homes proposal to be made into law. 

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Read Mr. Ryan’s complete remarks at: