Roskam, Shimkus tapped by Speaker Ryan to negotiate tax overhaul bill

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Congressman Peter Roskam, R-Ill. | Brian O’Mahoney/For Sun-Times Media

WASHINGTON — Illinois House Republicans Peter Roskam and John Shimkus were tapped by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on Monday to be among the GOP lawmakers on the committee to negotiate the differences between the House and Senate tax overhaul bills.

Only one version can be sent to President Donald Trump to sign. The Senate passed its tax bill on Saturday. The House legislation was approved in December. The tax measures were approved in both chambers with only with GOP votes.

Roskam is on the House Ways and Means Committee. Shimkus is on the Energy and Commerce Committee. The negotiating team — called a “conference committee” — are House and Senate Democratic and Republican members appointed by their respective leadership.

Roskam said in a statement that he will work to put into the final legislation “the best parts of each of these bills and to ensure that the end product is a tax code that American taxpayers deserve.”

“At a very base level, we are starting with the understanding that the status quo is hurting middle-income families across America and our primary responsibility is figuring out the most effective way to give those hardworking taxpayers — the backbone of the American economy — the tax relief they are looking for.”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., discussing the GOP authored bills at a press conference, said “they throw a few crumbs to the middle class. They give with one hand and take away in bounty with the other — why? Because it is in their DNA to give tax cuts to the rich — that’s their purpose in coming to Congress. That’s why they are so thrilled. Donald Trump is President because he is a trickle-down guy and this has never paid for itself, it’s never created jobs and it’s always increased the debt.”

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