The GOP’s major tax overhaul now lies in the hands of the tax reform conference committee, and South Dakota is well-represented.

U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem and U.S. Sen. John Thune, both Republicans, are included on the 29-member committee. The committee is tasked with negotiating one final tax reform bill for both Congress chambers to vote on, as both the House and Senate passed different versions earlier this year.

Wednesday, Noem and Thune both delivered their opening statements geared at the importance of passing tax reform.

Noem said the American people should have more control of their earnings.

"We do this once every 30 years, so let's not tweak it and just change it," Noem said, "let's fix it for the long-term. The American people deserve more control over their paychecks. They've worked hard for that money. They've taken time away from their families to earn that money. They like to be the ones deciding how, where, and when to spend it."

And Thune said that despite criticism from Democrats, the bill truly does help middle-income families.

"My colleague from South Dakota talked about the average income, but let's take a family of four with a combined annual income of $73,000 a year,” Thune said. “Under the Senate bill - and I think the House bill - as we merge them together, will be very similar. That family would get a $2,200 tax cut, which represents a 60 percent reduction over what they're paying under current law."

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