D.C. Report: Fair Tax Benefits from Activists’ Support

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Thanks to the help of FairTax activists, AFFT Chairman & President Steve Hayes and I had an exciting lineup of meetings on Capitol Hill during our April 28 - 30 trip to Washington, D.C.!  We visited 17 Congressional offices and met with nine members of Congress to discuss details of H.R. 25, the Fair Tax Act!! 
Upcoming Hearings on Tax Reform
During our discussions on Capitol Hill, we were informed that the House Ways & Means Committee (W&M) will hold hearings on tax reform proposals either in the fall or early next year, and the Fair Tax Act will be considered at that time.  Thank you Congressman Rob Woodall (GA-7) for the letter to W&M Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, which requested a hearing for H.R. 25 and was signed by 18 members of Congress!
FairTax — Moving the Discussion from Concept to Process
The discussion of FairTax on Capitol Hill is moving from concept to process and transitional issues, which indicates serious consideration as expressed by members of Congress from both parties!
With his extensive experience as a tax attorney and 25 years working on behalf of the FairTax, our Chairman Steve Hayes provided tremendous credibility when he explained how the FairTax transition would work, the importance of the prebate to offset regressivity, and the growing tax evasion implications.
We also answered questions on how the FairTax benefits our exports and “Made in America” competitiveness, as well as a more secure funding stream for Social Security and Medicare. 
In these meetings, I explained our FairTax State Resolution initiative in over 25 states.  This resolution is modeled on the one passed by both branches of the Florida legislature.  The initiatives express the wish of the State legislatures that its Members of Congress support the enactment of the FairTax and repeal of the 16th amendment.  The resolution introduced in Texas was voted unanimously out of Committee this past week; the next stop is the Calendar Committee.
SURPRISES Along the way!
We were scheduled to meet with Congressman Jason Smith (MO-8), but he was on the floor of the House when we arrived.  However, his Legislative Director greeted us with the great news that Congressman Smith signed up as a Cosponsor that morning, making him the 70th member of the House to support H.R. 25, the Fair Tax Act of 2015!!  Thank you MO FairTax State Director John McMillen for your scheduling assistance and in getting a number of emails and calls to the Congressional offices!  MO FairTax activists — your persistence moved Congressman Smith to become a Cosponsor.  Please let him know how much we appreciate his support!!!

We also dropped by the office of Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK-1) so that Steve could introduce me to his staff.  (Pictured above from left are  Congressman Bridenstine, me and Steve.)  I met the Chief of Staff and the Communications Director.  Then, Congressman Bridenstine walked in and invited us into his office to discuss the FairTax and how to move it forward. Bridenstine is a Cosponsor and a strong supporter of H.R. 25!
Working Behind the Scenes
We have members of Congress who are very vocal about the FairTax, but work in different ways.  We enjoyed an in-depth meeting with Senator Jerry Moran (KS; Cosponsor of S.155, the Fair Tax Act of 2015) and his Tax Legislative Assistant.  (Senator Moran is pictured below with Steve and me.)

We also briefly met with Senator David Perdue (GA; Sponsor of S.155) and at length with his Chief of Staff and Tax Legislative Assistant.  (Steve and I are pictured below with Senator Perdue.)  By being so vocal about the FairTax, both Senators have helped elevate the FairTax discussion in Washington, D.C. 

Sponsor of H.R. 25, Congressman Rob Woodall (GA-7) and his Tax Legislative Assistant, Alex Poirot, met with us to discuss FairTax strategy.  (Below is a picture of Congressman Woodall with Steve and me.)

We also met again with Congressman Steve King (IA-4), another Cosponsor and passionate supporter of the FairTax, and his Tax Legislative Assistant.

Next, we had a 40-minute meeting with Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (KS-2), a Cosponsor and member of the House Ways & Means Committee, who quietly works behind the scenes to encourage members of Congress to support the FairTax!  (Pictured above are Steve, Congresswoman Jenkins and me.)
Thank You to our FairTax Activists with Scheduling DC Appointments!
Thanks to the efforts of our activists, we also met with the following Members of Congress:
  1. Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-7); NJ FairTax State Director Jim Bennett drove 4.5 hours each way and joined our meeting which, although scheduled for 15 minutes, lasted almost an hour; what a difference a constituent makes!  The Congressman said that he read Jim’s FairTax materials on “regressivity", and he was very interested in “systemic tax reform”.  Thank you, Jim!  (Pictured below from left are Jim, me, Congressman Lance, and Steve.) 

  2. Congressman Adrian Smith (NE-3); a member of the House Ways & Means Committee; he places tax reform high on his agenda.  Thank you NE FairTax State Director Floyd Zabel for your help in scheduling this meeting!  (Steve and I are pictured below with Congressman Smith.)

  3. Sen. Mike Enzi (WY); Steve Hayes met with him while I attended another appointment.  Thank you Sam McAtee and the Wyoming FairTax team!  
In addition, we appreciate the FairTax activists who helped us schedule meetings with Congressional staff:
  1. Americans For Fair Taxation Director and Georgia State FairTax Director Jim Duffie flew from Atlanta and joined me for a meeting with the Legislative Director for Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-4), and then joined Steve and me with the Policy Advisor for the Budget Committee for Congressman Tom Price (GA-6); Price is Chairman of the House Budget Committee, a member of the Ways & Means Committee, and a Cosponsor of H.R.25!  Thank you, Jim, for joining us!!  (Pictured below are Steve, me and Jim.)  

  2. Adam Yomtov arranged a meeting with the Legislative Director for Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21); Adam joined us by teleconference. 
  3. Dr. Steve Cook helped set up our meeting with the Legislative Director for Congresswoman Vicki Hartzler (MO-4). 
  4. FL FairTax State Director Mark Gupton helped arrange a meeting with the Legislative Director for Congressman Curt Clawson (FL-19). 
  5. Americans For Fair Taxation Director and CO FairTax State Director John Sullivan set up a meeting with the staff of Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-3); we were introduced to the Congressman and his Chief of Staff, and then met at length with his Legislative Correspondent.
  6. On behalf of NC FairTax activists, we also met with the Tax Legislative Assistant for Congressman George Holding (NC-13); Holding is a new House Ways & Means Committee member. 
Also, thank you to the many FairTax activists and state directors for sending the “Letter to Chairman Ryan” to your local media outlets.  It’s efforts like these at the local, state and national level that bring attention to the FairTax, and educate citizens and elected officials on the best option for tax reform — a national retail sales tax on new goods and services!  We need to continue this momentum with calls, letters and visits to Congressional district offices, with letters to the editor, and by joining the 1040 Club to show Congress that we are FairTax strong!!

Peggy Green-Ernst, MBA
Director, Government Relations
Board of Directors
Americans For Fair Taxation


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