The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Adrian Smith
US Representative 

Giving Thanks in a Time of Great Challenge


November 24, 2021

There are no shortage of challenges facing Americans right now with our country reaching the highest level of inflation in three decades, a lack of workers to fill job openings nationwide, record illegal entry and smuggling at our southern border, and a supply chain unable to keep up with the demands of manufacturers and consumers. Despite facing these crises every day, we still have much to be thankful for as Americans. This year has brought new job opportunities for those in search of work, our schools are open again nationwide, and we are striving to resume our pre-coronavirus lives. It is very unfortunate the last action Democrats chose to take in the House of Representatives before Thanksgiving was passing their massive social spending package which will make these crises worse.

The $1.7 trillion legislation encourages people to stay at home rather than going back to work by extending their refundable Child Tax Credit for another year. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which I helped enact in 2017, doubled the Child Tax Credit to reduce the tax burden on working families. However, the majority of that $2,000 per child credit was non-refundable to ensure our tax code rewarded working families for advancing in the workforce. Unfortunately, Democrats’ extension of the credit with full refundability converts it to a monthly cash payment, creating the first new welfare benefit in a generation that is not connected to work. Like their earlier efforts to provide expanded unemployment insurance, this benefit will continue paying people to stay home when we desperately need workers to fill jobs making, transporting, and selling goods.

Along with adding to our workforce challenges, the spending bill adds to the crisis at our southern border. The same week U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that 164,303 illegal immigrants were apprehended trying to cross the border, Congressional Democrats passed their bill which encourages more to come. The legislation provides an extended amnesty period to illegal immigrants, allows them to receive Child Tax Credit, and following a five-year waiting period will allow them access to Medicaid, TANF, which is cash welfare, and other benefits that have long been limited to people legally in our country. The focus now should be securing our southern border, not incentivizing more migrants to come unlawfully with these provisions.

Now more than ever, we want businesses to invest in our supply chains, so we have the capacity to make and transport parts and manufacture here in the U.S. In 2017’s tax reform we intentionally allowed U.S. businesses 100% expensing, allowing them to deduct the cost of new equipment and facilities upfront, rather than forcing them to amortize the cost across ten or more tax years. This provision encouraged companies to reinvest in creating jobs and filling needs upfront when the deduction was more valuable. In turn, ensuring they owed taxes on the same number of profits over time. Rather than continue this provision, as we desperately need more machinery in production and vehicles moving product, Democrats’ social spending bill will drive jobs out of the country and penalize investments by applying a new minimum tax to companies wanting to make things in America.

While I am discouraged by the spending bill Democrats have passed through the House, rest assured I will continue working to counteract this misguided legislation on behalf of Nebraskans. For now, I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the time of year we come together with family and give thanks for our many blessings. I am thankful for both my family and the many opportunities our Lord has provided the great state of Nebraska and our nation.


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