Congressman Ted Poe's April Update

This Wednesday was Tax Day. Yet another reminder of how year after year, Americans see more and more of their money go to the Federal Government. This week, Congress passed important legislation to lessen the burden on American taxpayers and ensure that Americans can keep more of what they rightfully earned.

With my support, the House passed HR 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 and HR 662, the State and Local Sates Tax Deduction Fairness Act. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to act quickly and pass both pieces of legislation so that next year's Tax Day might be less of a headache and easier on the wallet of Americans.

The Death Tax is an unnecessary strain on our nation’s small family businesses and family farms that have been in the family for generations. After a family death, many times there is a transfer of wealth to a different family member. A slew of taxes apply (up to 40%) to that transfer. Sadly, in many cases the tax is so high that families are forced to sell off the business or the land to pay the IRS. Our farmers and small business owners are the heart of America and shouldn’t be forced to give up their businesses because of a family death. It’s time to give the Death Tax the death penalty and repeal it for good. No person should be taxed to die in this country.

The State and Local Sales Deduction Tax Act makes permanent the deduction of state and local general sales taxes. This applies to states like ours, Texas, which does not have a state income tax, but a higher sales tax. This legislation gives Texans the option to deduct their sales tax payment from their Federal Income Tax, thus leveling the tax playing field for states. It’s only fair that Texans should be able to deduct this amount from their income tax.

This week I chaired a hearing in the Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade Subcommittee on the crude oil export ban. Right now, thanks to technological advances, America has more oil than we can refine or store. Last year, the US overtook Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the largest crude oil producer in the world. But this oil lays stagnant in the ground. There are markets for this oil, but the Federal Government will not let us export it. Since Thanksgiving, half the rigs in Texas have stopped pumping oil due to overabundance. Since this oil cannot be exported and sold, it has affected 70,000 jobs. Exporting U.S. crude oil will lower gas prices, increase American jobs and strengthen our national security. It only makes sense to lift the crude oil export ban and get our economy moving.

Last week during a district work period, I held and attended a number of events to inform, educate and open discussion on important issues facing our country and community, from warrantless searches to human trafficking and honoring our servicemen and women:

Congressman Poe hosted a Privacy Forum at Rice University’s Baker Institute. This bipartisan policy forum included expert witnesses and Members of Congress to discuss how to safeguard Americans’ privacy and how the protections of the Fourth Amendment apply to technological advances. Even though technology may change, the Constitution does not.

Congressman Poe joined Senator John Cornyn and Cindy McCain for a panel on human trafficking. The discussion focused on pending legislation, including the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act that Congressman Poe introduced in the House, and new technology that aims to help law enforcement find traffickers. It is vital that as a community– and country– we spread awareness and strengthen our laws to end this egregious crime.

Congressman Poe joined members of the Atascocita community to honor local veterans and active duty service-men and women. These men and women have risked it all to protect us and our freedoms and they deserve the utmost respect and thanks. Our servicemen and women really are the backbone of our great country.

As always, email me here to share your thoughts.


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