January 2, 2018
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Federal Issues

Tax reform clears Congress, signed by president

Promising to sign a massive tax reform bill before Christmas Day, Congress passed and the president signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Friday, Dec. 22, in a brief Oval Office ceremony. It is the first major tax overhaul since former President Ronald Reagan was in office.

The New York Times reports that under the new law:

  • Individual tax rates will be lowered, with the new rates set to expire in 2025;
  • The standard deduction will almost double;
  • The tax credit for children will double as a benefit to lower-income families; and
  • Corporations will see their tax rates drop from 37 to 21 percent.

On the sweeping tax reform, the President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers Jay Timmons said, “We had the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. That was unacceptable, and there was nothing competitive about that. Now we have a real shot for more investment coming into America. By providing relief to small businesses especially, Congress has strengthened the heart of the modern manufacturing economy.”

In a press conference after the tax bill passed the U.S. House, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said, “This is one of the most important pieces of legislation that Congress has passed in decades to help the American worker and to help grow the American economy. This is profound change and this is change that is going to put our country on the right path.”

Critics call it a handout to corporations and the wealthy. However, shortly after the bill was signed, Boeing announced $300 million in new investments in workforce development, corporate giving and upgraded facilities. At the same time, several other companies announced pay raises and Christmas bonuses for hundreds of thousands of employees across the country due to the tax changes.

For more information on federal issues, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Amy Anderson at 360.943.1600.

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Rule of Law Matters

Washington's carbon overreach

By The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board

Washington Governor Jay Inslee calls climate change an "existential threat," and he has channeled President Obama in using executive powers to impose his policy response. But like Mr. Obama he suffered a major blow this month when a Washington court ruled that he exceeded his authority under state law.

Washington lawmakers have declined to pass Mr. Inslee's signature cap-and-trade legislation, and in 2016 voters rejected a carbon-tax ballot measure. So "now we have to do it administratively," the Sierra Club's Doug Howell said last year.

Mr. Inslee suddenly discovered authority to act unilaterally under the Washington Clean Air Act and a 2008 law that required greenhouse gas reductions...

And in a Dec. 15 oral ruling, Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon found that the Inslee Administration lacked the legal authority to regulate indirect emitters.

The decision is a victory for the rule of law and another rebuke to progressives who try to ignore democratic consent to impose their climate agenda by regulatory fiat.

Read the full editorial in The Wall Street Journal
Innovation is Key to Carbon Reductions

Washington can have energy independence without economic damage of carbon tax

By State Rep. Drew MacEwen, R-Union

Here in the United States, Washington is the leading producer of hydroelectric power, contributing nearly one quarter of the nation's total hydro generation. We rank only behind California in terms of the amount of renewable energy we produce each year.

That is why it is so critical that as we continue to debate the merits of a carbon tax, we be mindful of the steps we have already taken toward establishing a greener economy. Proposing a carbon tax to fund education or increase general fund spending is the wrong approach.

I truly believe Washington can achieve energy independence one day, but we must be strategic in how we get there. Causing self-inflicted economic hardship along the way would be foolish.

Read the full column in The Olympian
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