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Q&A with Congressman Rod Blum
by Report submitted · December 7th, 2017

Q: I heard the recent tax reform passed by the House raises taxes on the middle class, is this true? James from Manchester on Facebook

A: One of the main criteria that I looked at when deciding how to vote for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was whether it would provide a much-needed tax cut to the middle class.

I voted YES because it does give a tax cut to the middle class, and it does it in a variety of ways. First by almost doubling the standard deduction from $6,300 to $12,000 for those who are single, and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples. And second, by expanding the child tax credit from $1,000 to $1,600. It also lowers the tax rates in every income bracket other than the top bracket.

There have been plenty of "misleading" and "fake news" claims spread about the bill, such as ending the adoption tax credit and charitable deductions, or even raising taxes on the middle class. The House bill does not do these things.

The worst of the "fake news" is that the tax reform bill will raise taxes on the middle class. Any talk about taxes "raising" on the middle class in the next decade is based off a theory that the tax cuts which, for budgetary compliance reasons, are set to expire before the decade is over will not be renewed. From speaking to other members of Congress, I see no reason why these tax cuts will not be extended at that time.

The bill, like any, is not perfect. I wish it would have been even bolder in reducing taxes, but due to rules to make it compliant in the Senate we were only able to cut taxes $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. I have also led a bi-partisan effort in support of the Federal Historic Tax Credit that helps so many communities in eastern Iowa and will continue to work to see that the Federal Historic Tax Credits are included in the final Conference Committee Bill.

To conclude, working to unleash the American economy, creating growth and giving a pay raise to the middle class is one of the biggest reasons for why I went to Washington. We must deliver tax reform for the American people, and I will work tirelessly to improve this bill and see it placed on the President's desk to sign before Christmas.

Q: Why is there a multimillion dollar slush fund for members of Congress to pay off their harassment victims? Judy from Waterloo via Email

A: I look at these secret settlements as just another example of why we so desperately need to drain the DC swamp. There is no reason whatsoever why taxpayers should be on the hook to pay for settlements due to the inexcusable behavior of members of Congress or their staff. I intend to support legislation that will end this practice, and I currently see signs that there is agreement across the aisle as well to change this system.

All the best,

Rod Blum

Rod Blum is the Republican Congressman from Iowa's 1st District. He is a member of the Oversight and Small Business Committees and chair of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade.

To submit a question, please write to Congressman Rod Blum at, on Twitter @RepRodBlum, or on Facebook at
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