McConnell Op-Ed: A Long, Proud List of Accomplishments in this Congress
‘Over the last two years, a Republican Congress, working with the Trump Administration, has delivered a long series of policy accomplishments that have created real, tangible change for the American middle class. Along the way, this Senate has proven to be fertile ground for productive bipartisan work.’
“Over the last two years, a Republican Congress, working with the Trump Administration, has delivered a long series of policy accomplishments that have created real, tangible change for the American middle class. Along the way, this Senate has proven to be fertile ground for productive bipartisan work.
“What remains to be seen, and what the country will soon learn, is whether or not a Democrat-led House of Representatives will follow suit.
“Here’s where we are after the first two years of the partnership between Congress and the White House: Unemployment has hit its lowest level in nearly 50 years. For the first time ever on record, our nation has more job openings than job seekers. Worker wages recently logged their fastest year-on-year growth since the Great Recession. Small business optimism is as high as it’s ever been measured, dating back at least 45 years.
“During the remarkably uneven Obama era, too little new prosperity was created, and most of it piled up disproportionately in the largest metropolitan areas. Now all that has changed. This new economic boom is reaching the working families and communities that Democrats’ policies had left behind.
“Main Street businesses are dusting off ‘Help Wanted’ signs. Factories are expanding. Family farmers can afford new equipment. Smaller cities in states such as Ohio, Indiana, and Nebraska are so flush with jobs that local governments are themselves offering multi-thousand-dollar bonuses to workers who move there. And researchers at the Brookings Institution have found that smaller communities and rural communities recently outpaced the rest of the country in relative job creation.
“This all-American comeback is thanks in part to the transformation in governing philosophies that Americans voted for in 2016. Without a single Democrat’s vote, Republicans passed and President Trump signed the first comprehensive tax reform law in a generation. Congress and the president have slashed Obama-era regulatory red tape. And Republicans have taken big bites out of Obamacare, repealing central pieces like the individual mandate tax and the board of bureaucrats that was supposed to ration health care.
“This leadership has helped transform the economic mood in our nation, from shop floors to kitchen tables. Back in 2013, on Democrats’ watch, more than 75 percent of U.S. manufacturers said that a hostile climate due to taxes, regulations, and policy uncertainty was a major obstacle to their business. Today, fewer than 12 percent say that. And just last month, consumer confidence hit an 18-year high.
“Republicans’ signature policy victories have helped amplify this exceptional economic moment. But while the media are mostly interested in the big, contentious battles, a number of this Congress’ other major achievements for American families have come on a bipartisan basis.
“Working together, Republicans and Democrats passed landmark legislation to tackle the opioid crisis that has victimized communities across America.
“Working together, we reformed the burdensome Dodd-Frank banking regulations to expand access to capital, particularly for farmers and small businesses.
“Working together, we delivered new resources and reforms for our nation’s veterans, began rebuilding our infrastructure, and gave our all-volunteer armed forces the pay raise they deserve.
“And by working together, Republicans and Democrats rebuilt a regular appropriations process that avoided another omnibus and delivered the largest year-on-year increase in defense funding in 15 years.
“This mixture of big Republican wins combined with constant bipartisan work is proving transformative for American workers, families, service members, and veterans. But our work on urgent challenges is far from finished. So I sincerely hope this collaboration will continue in the months ahead. While Senate Republicans will continue advancing the right-of-center principles that have helped jump-start our economy and keep confirming Trump’s well-qualified nominees, we also hope to keep growing this long list of bipartisan accomplishments.
“But we can’t do that all by ourselves.
“House Democrats will need to make up their minds. Will they will rise to the occasion and focus on serious policymaking on behalf of the American people? Or will they heed the demands of the far-left ‘resistance’ and opt for unhinged partisan tactics and blind presidential harassment instead? Are these new Democrats coming to Washington, D.C., to make laws, or just to make points?
“Republicans know what our priorities are. The past two years have seen one policy after another that have helped make life better for middle-class Americans. With our expanded Senate majority, we intend to keep it up. I hope, for the sake of the American people, that our new Democratic colleagues across the Capitol will come ready to join in that work.”
Related Issues: Middle Class, Congressional Review Act, America's Military, Health Care, Appropriations, Regulations, Taxes, Senate Democrats, Tax Reform, Small Business, Economy, Opioid Abuse, Jobs