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D.C. Report: Visibility, Interest & Solidarity — the FAIRtax Lapel Pin

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D.C. Report:  Visibility, Interest & Solidarity — the FAIRtax Lapel Pin
Last week, AFFT Chairman & President Steve Hayes and I returned to D.C. to visit with 11 Members of Congress.  It was another busy schedule with 19 meetings on Capitol Hill.  As a follow-up to my February report, several tax reform hearings have been held in the House Ways & Means Committee, and one of those was held last week where a Member of Congress actually mentioned “Americans For Fair Taxation” in his remarks — more about that exciting testimony later!

For the past year, my main focus for Steve and me were appointments with Members of Congress and/or their staff on the House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, and we have met with a majority of those offices.  We continue to increase our visibility and their interest in the FAIRtax on Capitol Hill.

However, for this trip, it was time to show our solidarity and appreciation to those Members who support our legislation by honoring them with an official FAIRtax pinning ceremony and photo opportunity for our weekly newsletter.  To date, there are 81 Members who support the Fair Tax Act, H.R.25 / S.155.  Ten of them were officially “pinned” on this trip!


Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC-5) — officially “pinned”

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC-5, CoSponsor), pictured above with Steve and me, was delighted to finally have her own FAIRtax lapel pin, and she said that she would be showing it off to Congressman Rob Woodall (GA-7; Sponsor of H.R.25) as soon as possible.  We updated her on FAIRtax activities on Capitol Hill, including the ongoing tax reform hearings.  In addition, she is interested in writing a FAIRtax opinion editorial to be published in our newsletter. Congresswoman Foxx is Chair of the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education. She also serves as the Vice Chair of the powerful House Rules Committee, which determines what legislation comes to the floor of the House and what amendments will be allowed during floor debate.  Legislative Director Cyrus Artz joined us for this meeting.


Congressman Rob Woodall (GA-7) — testified on the Fair Tax Act

Congressman Rob Woodall (GA-7; Sponsor H.R.25), pictured above with Steve and me, enjoyed telling us about the many Members showing him their new FAIRtax lapel pins.  Spoiler alert:  Congressman Woodall is the Member who mentioned “Americans For Fair Taxation” in the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1UKIXi6FXI — “Rep. Woodall Testifies on the FairTax at Ways and Means Hearing” on May 12.  As always, he articulated the FAIRtax with enthusiasm, and during his testimony said that “I have never been more optimistic…this tax code cannot be fixed…we need to start all over again from scratch…we have won the debate that a consumption tax is the way to get the economic engine restarted here in this country…a group of activists, a group of economists, folks in a group called Americans For Fair Taxation said if we started from scratch, what tax code would we write, and what they came up with was a plan called the Fair Tax; it’s H.R.25.  It’s the most widely cosponsored fundamental tax reform bill in this Congress, and it throws the tax code out…I want to have a tax code in this country that leads the rest of the world…I want to take our corporate income tax code from worst in the world to first in the world.  The Fair Tax does that…collect a point-of-sale retail sales tax on all the final consumer goods…the Fair Tax recognizes that you shouldn’t have to have a law degree or accounting degree to pay your taxes…”   Thank you, Congressman Woodall, for your continued leadership!!

Woodall serves on the House Committee on Rules, the House Budget Committee, and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  Senior Policy Advisor Alex Poirot joined us for this meeting, and keeps us well-informed of all FAIRtax activities on the House side.  

Other Members of Congress — officially “pinned”

Steve and I met with the following members of Congress to honor them for being CoSponsors of The Fair Tax Act, and they are now sporting a FAIRtax lapel pin from our official “pinning” ceremonies on Capitol Hill.  During our meetings, we updated them on FAIRtax activities, provided an opportunity for them to write a FAIRtax opinion editorial for our newsletter, and offered to participate in a Town Hall on tax reform in their district.  

House of Representatives:

Congressman Bill Flores (TX-17, CoSponsor), pictured above with Steve and me, serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and is Chairman of the Republican Study Group. Thank you, Congressman Flores, for your support!!  Legislative Assistant Jordan Ballard and Press Secretary Andre Castro joined us for this meeting.

Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-5, CoSponsor), pictured above with Steve and me, serves on the following House Committees:  Armed Services; Science, Space, and Technology; and Foreign Affairs.  Thank you, Congressman Brooks, for your support!!  Communications Director Lauren Vandiver joined us for this meeting.
Congressman Tim Huelskamp (KS-1, CoSponsor), pictured above with Steve and me, serves as the Chairman of the Small Business Committee's Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access Subcommittee, and is a member of the Veterans Committee.  Thank you, Congressman Huelskamp, for your support!  Tax Legislative Assistant John Schuler and Communications Assistant Jon Meadows joined us for this meeting.
 
Congressman Jody Hice (GA-10, CoSponsor), pictured above with Steve and me, serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee as well as the House Natural Resources Committee.  Thank you, Congressman Hice, for your support!  Legislative Director Michael Calvo and Deputy Press Secretary Nadgey Louis-Charles joined us for this meeting.
 
Congressman Michael Conaway (TX-11, CoSponsor), pictured above with Steve and me, serves as the Chairman of the Agriculture Committee, and as a member of the House Armed Services Committee.  Thank you, Chairman Conaway, for your support!  Tax Legislative Assistant Michael Horder joined us for this meeting.
 
Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-3, CoSponsor), pictured above with Steve and me, serves on the Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Homeland Security Committee, serving as the Chairman of its Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee.  Thank you, Congressman Duncan, for your support!  Legislative Director Joshua Gross and Deputy Chief of Staff Allen Klump joined us for this meeting.

Congressman Ron DeSantis (FL-6; CoSponsor), pictured above with Steve and me, serves on the Judiciary, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight & Government Reform Committees; he is the Chairman of the Oversight Committee’s National Security subcommittee and the Vice-Chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.  Thank you, Congressman DeSantis, for your support!  Legislative Director Jordan Kaye joined us for this meeting.
Congressman Scott DesJarlais (TN-4; CoSponsor), pictured above with Steve and me, serves on the following Committees:  Oversight and Government Reform; Foreign Affairs; and Agriculture.  Thank you, Congressman DesJarlais, for your support!  Communications Director/Policy Advisor Robert Jameson joined us for this meeting.

Senate:

Senator Jerry Moran (KS), pictured above with Steve and me, is officially “pinned”.  We have met often with Senator Moran, our Sponsor of S.155, and enjoyed another strategic discussion with him.  Thank you, Senator Moran, for your continued leadership!  Senator Moran sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee serving as Chairman of its Subcommittee on Agriculture; he is also a member of the following Committees:  Commerce, Science and Transportation; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Veterans’ Affairs.  Tax Legislative Assistant Tom Bush joined us for this meeting.

Other Capitol Hill Meetings

Other congressional office meetings were as follows:
— Tax Legislative Assistant Gerald Huang with the office of Senator David Perdue (GA; CoSponsor S.155; sits on the following: Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, serving as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources; Committee on the Budget;  Committee on Foreign Relations, serving as Chairman, Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development; and Committee on the Judiciary)   
— Tax Legislative Assistant Steven Valentine with the office of Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-4; sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and is Chairman of its Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization Subcommittee; and Chairman of both the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China).  Thanks goes to New Jersey FAIRtax Board member John O’Rourke for help in scheduling this meeting!
— Tax Legislative Assistant Jake Bornstein with the office of Congressman Ken Buck (CO-4; sits on the House Judiciary Committee and its Subcommittees on Government Operations and the Interior as well the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and its Subcommittees on Immigration and Border Security and Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations)
— Legislative Director Jeff Small with the office of Congressman Paul Gosar, DDS (AZ-4; sits on the House Committee on Natural Resources where he is Vice-Chairman of its Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee, and serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform)
— Legislative Assistant Christen Harsha with the office of Congressman Morgan Griffith (VA-9; sits on Energy and Commerce Committee and its Subcommittees on Health, Energy and Power, and Oversight and Investigations)
— Deputy Chief of Staff/Legislative Director Robert Yavor with the office of Congressman Cresent Hardy (NV-4; sits on the House Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, Natural Resources, and Small Business; serves as Vice-Chairman of the Transportation Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, as well as Chairman of the Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations); the Congressman was scheduled for a pinning ceremony with us, but was called to the House floor for a roll call vote.
— Legislative Director Aaron Calkins with the office of Congressman Raul Labrador (ID-1; sits on the Natural Resources and Judiciary Committees)
— Senior Policy Advisor for Health & Tax Abby Pezzi with the office of Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, CPA (KS-2; CoSponsor H.R.25; sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, serving on both the Health Subcommittee and Trade Subcommittee); Congresswoman Jenkins said a quick “Hello” as she returned to her office after testifying at the tax reform hearing.

The FAIRtax Lapel Pin!

As the old saying goes:  “Good things come in small packages.”  The FAIRtax lapel pin may be small, but its visibility garners interest and solidarity.  I experienced two of those occasions during my trip home to the Dallas, Texas area.  At Reagan National Airport, the TSA officer noticed my FAIRtax lapel pin while he was checking my ID and boarding pass; he asked which tax plan, and that gave me the opportunity to quickly explain the FAIRtax.  He indicated that a national sales tax makes a lot of sense!  In addition, when my husband and I stopped at the Whole Foods grocery store on the way home, the cashier saw my lapel pin, and told me that he supported the FAIRtax.  In conclusion, wearing a FAIRtax lapel pin gives our movement visibility, creates interest, and provides an opportunity for solidarity.

Show your solidarity; wear a FAIRtax lapel pin!  Please join us, and together we can make history!!

 



Peggy Green-Ernst, MBA
Director, Government Relations
Board of Directors
Americans For Fair Taxation
Peggy.Green-Ernst@FAIRtax.org
#FAIRtax

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