On Wednesday, President Trump stood before a huge crowd of people in Indianapolis, Indiana and laid out the details on how he planned to reduce the tax burden on American businesses, families, farmers and workers - giving Americans one of the largest pay increases a president has ever proposed. At that same time 592 miles away ‎in Washington, Members of the House of Representatives were gathered at the National Defense University to discuss the specific rate reductions and simplifications to the tax code, making it possible to simultaneously increase take home pay for workers, while also allowing all Americans to file their taxes on a single post card sized piece of paper.

Later on Wednesday, I was also able to sit down with the President's daughter, Ivanka Trump, in my office to discuss how we could work together to change the tax code to reward working families, not punish them.

Beyond reducing rates, reigning in the IRS and simplifying over 70,000 pages of tax code jargon - tax reform ‎should change our code so that it no longer punishes the celebration of getting married and starting one’s family. Today, millions of Americans are forced to choose between getting up and going to work each day, or staying at home in order to care for an infant or child. It shouldn't be that way. A father or mother shouldn't have to pick between one of those two choices. Our tax code can be used to help and reward those who want to do both - who want to continue to go to work each day, but also start and grow their family.

Parents in southeast and south central Missouri wear more than one hat. That’s why our tax reform needs to not only help your small business or your farm, but also your family. You work daily to provide for your community and for your kids. Whether you drive a truck, teach school, milk cows, grow soybeans or a run a business that hires local folks, we are writing a tax code that will help you create more Missouri jobs and bring more money home to your family.

Things like the child tax credit, with the right modifications, can be used to help middle class working families. Starting one’s family shouldn't also force them into a decision between groceries or day care, between work or staying at home. It should be a joyous celebration of life, not an additional stress because of an antiquated tax code. By updating our tax code to reflect the fact that more and more families are ‎desiring to send both parents into the workforce, we can better ensure that starting a family isn't also a catalyst for a new mother or father to leave the workforce.

When you’re not overwhelmed by a complicated and expensive tax code, it gives you more time with your family and more money to pay for things like Halloween costumes and football practice. Missouri families deserve not only a pay raise, but also enough financial flexibility to make a family budget that allows to save for bigger things like a family vacation, kids going to college and even retirement.

Ivanka and I agree, working two jobs and raising a family at the same time should be rewarded, not punished. Our tax code shouldn’t make people choose between going to work every day so you can keep the lights on or staying home with your kids because you can’t afford childcare. Together we are fighting for a fairer, flatter tax code that will reward the joys of starting a family while at the same time give all Americans a well-deserved pay raise.

This report was filed Sept. 29, 2017

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