Rep. Handel’s Weekly Recap for December 22

December 22, 2017
  • Historical tax relief is coming for most Americans on January 1, 2018
  • I led debate in the House on a bill to bring justice to victims of sexual abuse
  • I voted to provide disaster relief to regions affected by hurricanes and wildfires
  • I supported legislation that expands STEM education and career opportunities to our veterans

COMING JANUARY 1, 2018 - HISTORIC TAX RELIEF

This week, the House passed a tax cut bill that will be transformative for hardworking American families and companies, especially our nation's small businesses.

More than half of Americans currently live paycheck to paycheck. In the end, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is about letting Americans keep more of their hard-earned money.

The typical American family of four earning the median family income of $73,000 will see a tax cut of $2,059, but those numbers are even more significant in the Sixth District.

According to the House Ways & Means Committee, the average family of four in GA-6 makes $132,066. That family will see a tax cut of $4,658 in 2018.

And the average independent filer with no dependents in GA-6 makes a median income of $87,139. That person will see a tax cut of $2,306 next year.

Overall, the bill lowers federal income tax rates for all low and middle-income Americans. It also nearly doubles the standard deduction, increases the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000 per child, retains deductibility of up to $10,000 in state and local property taxes, and preserves $750,000 in mortgage interest deduction benefits.

This bill also benefits America’s main street businesses - those small businesses that are the backbone of our economy and job creation. By lowering small business tax rates, these companies can do what they do best - innovate and grow.


Fighting for Justice for Sexual Assault Victims 

Thousands of rape kits currently sit untested in labs and on police storage shelves across the nation - a devastating truth that has tragic consequences for America's sexual assault victims. Each one of these untested kits holds the potential to imprison a rapist and provide a victim with the justice they deserve.
 
This week, I led debate on the House floor for the SAFER Act of 2017, which is designed to build on current, existing law to ensure we can continue reducing the rape kit backlog and provide justice to victims.
 

PROVIDING CONTINUED HURRICANE DISASTER RELIEF ASSISTANCE

This week, I also voted in support of additional disaster aid for Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In addition, it provides support to California, which has been devastated by wildfires over recent weeks and months. 

This package brings the total disaster relief to $132.8 billion this year. We will all agree that this is a lot of money, and accountability is imperative. The bill includes several key accountability provisions that would require grantees to report to Congress on the progress of the relief efforts. Further, the bill includes important reforms to federal disaster recovery programs to ensure that communities are better prepared for future disasters. Specifically, the legislation focuses on improving pre-disaster planning and mitigation in an effort to reduce future loss of life and costs.

Please know that I thought long and hard about this vote. I weighed the cost of bill, specific provisions, our nation’s debt, and the devastation that so many have endured. In the end, I felt I had be on the side of my fellow Georgians on the coast and my fellow Americans in those states so affected by hurricanes and wildfires.

 

EXPANDING EDUCATION BENEFITS FOR OUR NATION'S VETERANS

Finally, this week I helped pass H.R. 4323, the Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act.

This bill increases the opportunity for veterans to take advantage of several scholarship and fellowship grant programs related to STEM education and careers. The measure also would establish a committee within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) focused on increasing the number of veterans in STEM careers and would require the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a veteran outreach plan within 90 days.

Thank you, as always, for taking the time to read this note. If you or your neighbors have any questions or concerns, please always feel free to call my Roswell office at (770) 998-0049 or my Washington office at (202) 225-4501.

And, lastly, I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year. Thank you all so much for the chance to Represent you in Washington. It is such an honor and a privilege that I have always worked to uphold. I look forward to making 2018 an even better year for our district, our state and our country.

Sincerely,
 
Karen C. Handel
Member of Congress