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Rep. Mitchell says budget, infrastructure are priorities for 2018

Rep. Paul Mitchell

Congress has a substantial “to-do list” this year, and with Republicans controlling the House, Senate, and White House, they have a lot of say in what gets done.

To learn more about the GOP goals for the New Year, Stateside sat down with Congressman Paul Mitchell, who represents Michigan’s 10th district.

He discussed the upcoming budget deadline, challenges with saving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and more.

You can listen to the full interview above, or read highlights below.

On Gov. Snyder saying the tax overhaul will raise state income taxes

“The Republicans in the Michigan delegation disagree with Mr. Corey’s assessment, as well as the governor’s assessment. Patrick Anderson, who is a pretty well-known expert in terms of taxation, sent a letter to Mr. Corey. I understand there’s a response back, but the reality is it doesn’t do that. In fact,...if there’s a concern about that, they can modify their state tax code to address that issue.”

Lester Graham: “That would require an act of legislation.”

“Well, if they believe it’s necessary, and I don’t necessarily believe it is, and certainly there are other experts who don’t believe it is, either. And I suggest that the governor and Mr. Corey not use it as some veiled attempt to establish another tax increase. They should work with their legislature. I know that Tom Leonard, the Speaker of the House, was working on actually cutting the state income tax. So if they’re going to adjust what they believe is an issue, then adjust the tax rates and reduce state taxes for our citizens here, as well.”

On the impending end of DACA protections

“Let’s take a step back. The DACA program itself, I believe, that was established by the president at the time, President Obama, was unconstitutional. I believe we can address the issue. It comes down to coming to some agreement in terms of these young people, what their legal status is, and for some of the progressives and Democrats, they magically all, in my opinion, want to do something to grant them citizenship in one fell swoop the moment we resolve the issue or pass a bill. And frankly, that puts them in front of people that have been waiting to come into the country [legally] for some period of time.”

“I think we should provide them legal status so they can work, permanent legal status, and they should be put on the list to apply for citizenship and be in line with everybody else. Anything that simply provides an expedited or accelerated path to citizenship is inappropriate. It does create an incentive...if you can’t pull that off for other people in the world, and we simply can’t create that incentive.”

On his legislative priorities for 2018

“I’m on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. There is a 75-page plan that outlines what the White House’s priorities on infrastructure are. Chairman Shuster is involved in the talk with them as well, and I want to get engaged in that and be an active part of moving forward a plan that will improve our infrastructure across the nation. What impresses me about what the administration’s talking about is the plan would be one that states and local governments could determine what is the priority in their community for infrastructure, not simply pigeonhole it either just in roads or just in bridges or just in rail lines, regardless of whether that’s your priority or not. That your decision-making on that is based on what the community decides is needed, and how it is they can put together a combination of federal, state, and local money to make that an effective investment.”

Find yesterday's conversation with Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee here.

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