By Jon Delano

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, a Butler Republican and a member of the House tax-writing committee, is very bullish on the Republican tax plan.

“Our goal, from day one — and this is the president talking — I want to see more middle income and lower middle income Americans have more money, more take home pay,” Kelly told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Friday, following a taping of the KD/PG Sunday Edition show.

Kelly insists middle income Americans will get a tax break even as Democrats argue the Republican plan cuts tax rates more for corporations and the wealthy, a charge that Kelly calls identity politics.

“Unfortunately, it’s identity politics today. It’s the shape of your eye, it’s the shade of your skin, it’s where you worship or don’t worship, it’s whether you’re a rich guy or a poor guy,” says Kelly.

KDKA asked Kelly about another criticism of the GOP bill.

Delano: “The corporate tax cuts are permanent, but the cuts for you and I as individuals are temporary. What sense does that make?”
Kelly: “Well, you know, for years we’ve been working on this. The fact that we don’t have a permanent tax code but we have to go with extenders. I was looking forward to having more permanence, too.”

Kelly blames the budget rules, although they could have made the business tax cuts temporary and the individual ones permanent.

In the end, Kelly sees this tax bill as fulfilling a promise of President Trump for whom Kelly campaigned hard in 2016.

Delano: “How do you think his first year has gone?”
Kelly: “You know, from my perspective, it’s been incredibly good.”

As for President Trump’s inability to get his ideas through the Republican Congress, Kelly says, “The wheels of government turn so slow.”

“I wanted to see the health care get fixed because it’s incredibly important to every American,” Kelly said. “Tax cuts and job creation [are] right up on top of that. I want to see infrastructure done. The rebuilding of our military because we are in a very dangerous world. The president is pushing for all those things, so from that standpoint I’m glad he’s there.”

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