With America still experiencing the slowest recovery from recession since World War II, New Jersey families have felt a great deal of uncertainty as their incomes, savings and jobs remain in jeopardy. With an official state jobless rate still above 5.3 percent, many who have lost their jobs continue to have trouble finding new ones. Many others have seen their work hours reduced or have been forced to take a pay cut.

At the same time, New Jersey taxpayers already bear one of the heaviest tax burdens in the nation from state, county, and local taxes: income taxes, property taxes, and sales taxes.

To me, there could not be a worse time to raise federal taxes!

Clearly, Americans are not taxed too little! The federal government spends too much!

That is precisely why I am committed to lowering our tax burden wherever and whenever I can.

We need to get government “off the backs” of small businessmen and women and allow them to grow their companies and create jobs. We must increase American competitiveness to spur investment and create more American jobs by streamlining the tax code

I have proposed reforming the tax code to accomplish this. I support lowering the tax rate for individuals and businesses, including small business owners, to no more than 25%, down from the top federal rate of 39.6%.

Further, we have the highest marginal corporate tax rate in the world, which makes us uncompetitive with other countries seeking to increase their international trade, a key area for future job creation. We also must increase our own foreign trade through greater exports to overseas markets.

At the end of 2015, I was pleased to support the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act.  This bipartisan legislation makes a number of temporary tax provisions permanent, delivering predictability, clarity, and certainty for individuals, families and job creators.  Specifically, this bill made permanent the state sales tax deduction, the increased small business Section 179 expensing limit, and the research and development tax credit. Now, Americans will no longer have to worry each December if Congress will take action to extend these important tax policies.

While the PATH Act was a pivotal step towards fixing our broken tax code, we must pursue “comprehensive tax reform” that would eliminate “loopholes” that prevent some from paying their fair share, while lowering rates for everyone else.

For more information about the status of tax reform, please visit the Ways and Means Committee website.