Chairman Brady, Ranking Member Neal, and members of the Committee, it is good to be here with you today.
As Treasury Secretary, I am focused on advancing the President’s policies that will bring prosperity to the American people through economic growth. This is a core focus of the President, and he is delivering. Last year, the economy had two straight quarters of three percent or higher GDP growth, and the growth rate was higher than the average over the previous twenty years.
The cornerstone of returning to more robust growth is deregulation and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This law is already providing relief to middle-income families by putting money directly back into the pockets of hardworking American families.
Since the law was enacted, over 350 companies have announced bonuses, wage increases, higher 401(k) matches, and new hiring, benefiting more than 4 million employees. We are seeing the fastest wage growth since 2009 at 2.9%.
This is a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of American families.
Our reforms are making America’s companies competitive again, which is having a demonstrable effect on the economic success of the nation. The Act lowered the statutory corporate tax rate from 35% – the highest in the industrial world – to 21%, below the industrial average. It also encourages companies to bring back the profits they have sitting overseas by eliminating the tax incentive for keeping that money offshore.
Turning to the budget, the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget reflects last year’s tax reform legislation, which reduces the burden on taxpayers and sets the country up for long-term growth. The policies in this budget will drive down spending and grow the economy, which are both critical to putting the nation on a sound fiscal path over the long term and reducing the budget deficit as a share of GDP.
The past year has been an important step forward for our country. We will continue this progress by enacting policies that enable the American people to succeed, and I look forward to continuing to work with Congress to make this happen.
Thank you very much.