Improving The Lives Of The American People

The Major Accomplishments Of The 115th Congress

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “When President Trump delivers his State of the Union address, he will have outstanding news to share. After a decade of sluggish growth and stagnant paychecks, our country is back on the right track. Optimism is sweeping across the country, and the economy is finally gaining momentum. The Trump administration has worked with the Republican Congress to improve the lives of the American people. … Republicans have remained focused on the issues important to middle-class families and workers.” (Sen. Mcconnell, Op-Ed, “Trump And Republican Congress Have Plenty To Brag About After First Year,” Louisville Courier-Journal, 1/30/2018)

  • TAX REFORM: Real Results For American Workers
  • JUDGES: 2017 Year Of Extraordinary Accomplishment
  • REGULATORY REFORM: Draining The Regulatory Swamp
  • OBAMACARE: Protecting Americans From Obamacare
  • ENERGY: Opening ANWR
  • VETERANS: Real Reform For American Veterans
  • HEALTHCARE: The Longest S-CHIP Extension In History

TAX REFORM: Real Results For American Workers

Hundreds Of Companies Have Announced Bonuses, Wage Hikes, Or Increased 401(K) Contributions

“Since the law’s passage, more than 250 companies have announced bonuses, affecting about 3 million employees, according to Americans for Tax Reform… [and] it’s not just banks and Fortune 100 companies sending workers home with extra cash.” (“…How Area Workers Are Spending Their Tax Cut Bonuses,” Chicago Tribune, 1/26/2018)

Recent Announcements Include:

  • THE HOME DEPOT: “…The Home Depot announced plans to provide a new one-time cash bonus for U.S. hourly associates of up to $1,000 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. … The Company employs more than 400,000 associates.” (The Home Depot, Press Release, 1/25/2018)
  • FEDEX CORPORATION: “FedEx Corporation is announcing three major programs today following the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: 1) Over $200 million in increased compensation, about two-thirds of which will go to hourly team members by advancing 2018 annual pay increases by six months to April 1st from the normal October date. The remainder will fund increases in performance-based incentive plans for salaried personnel. 2) A voluntary contribution of $1.5 billion to the FedEx pension plan to ensure it remains one of the best funded retirement programs in the country. … more than 400,000 team members…” (FedEx Corporation, Press Release, 1/26/2018)

See The Current List From Americans For Tax Reform Here

TAX EXPERTS: ‘Most People Are Going To Pay Less’ In Federal Taxes

“…the undeniable math is that most people are going to pay less.” (“The Daily 202: The Tax Bill Is Likely To Become More Popular After Passage. Here’s How Republicans Plan To Sell It.,” The Washington Post, 12/20/2017)

TAX FOUNDATION: “To help provide a sense of how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would impact real taxpayers, we’ve run the taxes of eight example households. Each sample taxpayer has realistic characteristics to show how the individual income tax provisions of the bill would impact individuals and families across the income spectrum. Our results indicate a reduction in tax liability for every scenario we estimated, with some of the largest changes in after-tax income accruing to moderate-income families with children.” (“Who Gets A Tax Cut Under The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act?” Tax Foundation, 12/19/2017)

Doubling Of The Child Tax Credit

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): “Tax Relief for Working Class Families: Since 2014, Rubio has pushed for an enhanced child tax credit to help working, middle-class American families. …Rubio won provisions in the tax bill that doubled the per-child tax credit to $2,000 and increased the amount working class families can receive to $1,400, indexed to inflation until the full credit applies.” (Sen. Rubio, Press Release, 12/22/2017)

Nationwide Family Leave Policy

SEN. DEB FISCHER (R-NE): “Today, the U.S. Senate passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act … [which] Incentivizes businesses to offer workers up to 12 weeks of paid family leave with a tax credit as big as 25%. This provision mirrors Senator Fischer’s Strong Families Act.” (Sen. Fischer, Press Release, 12/2/2017)

  • SEN. FISCHER (R-NE): “Congress has a chance to make history by enacting the first nationwide paid family leave policy as part of the Senate tax reform bill. … For four years in the Senate, I’ve been working on the plan to address this challenge that was included in our tax bill. My proposal aims to increase Americans’ access to paid family leave while remaining cognizant of the realities of running a business — especially a small one. This plan uses a tax credit to encourage employers to offer workers up to 12 weeks of paid family leave. Using what I call the ‘carrot approach,’ the policy gives businesses an incentive to give employees more flexibility when they face family worries… Employers who take advantage of the program are entitled to a tax credit of up to 25 percent of wages replaced — a significant incentive. There are no government mandates or new federal programs...” (Sen. Fischer, Op-Ed, “The Senate Tax Bill Should Give Families The Paid Leave They Deserve,” The Washington Post, 12/6/2017)

Tax Reform Included The Investing In Opportunity Act

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): “This evening, after months of deliberation and discussion, the U.S. Senate successfully passed the historic tax reform package, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act… Throughout the process, Scott was able to advocate for key provisions that made it in the final version of the tax bill including the following: … Inclusion of the Investing in Opportunity Act – The IIOA will provide an opportunity for U.S. investors to use a temporary capital gains deferral in exchange for investing the capital in distressed communities across the country. This is an initiative that has the potential to positively impact up to 52 million Americans living in these communities.” (Sen. Scott, Press Release, 12/20/2017)

JUDGES: 2017 Year Of Extraordinary Accomplishment

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “President Trump had more new circuit court judges confirmed in his first year than any prior president, a testimony to the fine quality of the nominees he sends here to the Senate.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 1/30/2018)

Justice Neil ‘Gorsuch’s Confirmation … A Marquee Accomplishment For President Trump’

“The U.S. Senate confirmed Neil M. Gorsuch to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court… Gorsuch’s confirmation is a marquee accomplishment for President Trump and his young administration…” (“Senate Confirms Neil Gorsuch To Supreme Court,” Washington Post, 4/7/2017)

In 2017 The Senate Confirmed An Historic 12 Circuit Court Judges – The Most In A President’s 1st Year In Office Since The Creation Of Circuit Courts In 1891

“Judicial appointments are the sleeper story that matters...” (“Judicial Appointments Are The Sleeper Story That Matters,” Axios, 11/19/2017)

WASHINGTON EXAMINER: “President Trump broke the record this week for the most federal appeals court judges confirmed during a president’s first year in office, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled it's likely the pace of confirmations will continue at a brisk pace in the new year. The Senate approved three of the president’s federal judicial nominees this week alone: Don Willett of Texas to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Leonard Steven Grasz of Nebraska to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and James C. Ho of Texas to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. With Ho’s confirmation Thursday, the president surpassed former Presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon with the highest number of federal appeals court judges confirmed. Both Kennedy and Nixon saw 11 judges approved by the full Senate. Trump now has 12, the highest number since the circuit courts were created in 1891. During his first year in office, former President Barack Obama had three circuit court judges approved, and former President George W. Bush had six.” (“GOP Keeps The Pedal To The Metal On Judicial Confirmations,” Washington Examiner, 12/18/2017)

WALL STREET JOURNAL: “Mr. Trump has nominated first-rate judges…” (Editorial, “Running The Schumer Blockade,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/10/2017)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Thanks to @SenateMajLdr McConnell and the @SenateGOP we are appointing high-quality Federal District ...and Appeals Court Judges at a record clip! Our courts are rapidly changing for the better!” (@realDonaldTrump, Twitter, 11/1/2017)

  • PRESIDENT TRUMP: “…something that people aren't talking about is how many judges we've had approved, whether it be the Court of Appeals, circuit judges, whether it be district judges. We have [a] tremendous [number], right now, under review. … I think it's one of the big unsung things of this administration… Many, many are in the pipeline. The level of quality is extraordinary.” (President Trump, Press Conference, 10/16/2017)

Draining The Regulatory Swamp

‘The Most Far-Reaching Regulatory Reform [Effort] In American History’

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): Under President Obama “the problem was America was underperforming... We attributed that to excessive regulation and a failure to address the tax code. This administration, working with us, through the Congressional Review Act, repealed 15 of the Obama-era regulations and, by the appointments that they made, all confirmed by the Senate, began to put new kinds of people at the FCC, at the NLRB, at the Food and Drug Administration, and all of these agencies that can slow an economy by excessive regulation…. So I feel very good about this year.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Conference, 12/22/2017)

15 CRAs: ‘Reducing The Size, Scope, And Cost Of Federal Regulations’

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “For many decades, an ever-growing maze of regulations, rules, restrictions has cost our country trillions and trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, countless American factories, and devastated many industries…. We’ve begun the most far-reaching regulatory reform in American history…. And you see the results when you look at the stock market, when you look at the results of companies, and when you see companies coming back into our country…. We are now reducing the size, scope, and cost of federal regulations for the first time in decades, and we are already seeing the incredible results.” (“Remarks by President Trump on Deregulation,” 12/14/2017)

“President Donald Trump’s inauguration gave congressional Republicans a once-in-a-generation opportunity to erase a spate of late Obama-era regulations — and they used it to make a significant dent …never before have lawmakers made such dramatic use of the Congressional Review Act, which allows lawmakers and the White House to kill recently enacted regulations…” (“GOP Onslaught On Obama’s ‘Midnight Rules’ Comes To An End,” Politico, 5/7/2017)

Protecting Americans From Obamacare

Tax Reform Repealed The Individual Mandate Tax

“The tax bill would repeal ObamaCare's individual mandate, a major accomplishment for Republicans in chipping away at the health-care law.” (“Week Ahead: GOP Poised To Repeal Obamacare Mandate,” The Hill, 12/18/2017)

  • “The tax bill … would strike a blow to a fundamental part of Obamacare. … The bill would repeal the individual mandate, the provision in the ACA that requires individuals to have health insurance or face a penalty fee.” (Business Insider, 12/20/2017)

SEN. RON WYDEN (D-OR): “This is not just another garden variety attack on the Affordable Care Act; this is repeal of that law.” (“Tax Bill Thrown Into Uncertainty As First G.O.P. Senator Comes Out Against It,” The New York Times, 11/15/2017)

The Law Ending The Schumer Shutdown Also Addressed Three Significant Obamacare Taxes

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Yesterday evening, our agreement to re-open the government… [and] further delay three Obamacare taxes was signed into law.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 1/23/2018)

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT): “[T]he House legislation addresses some other long-term priorities of mine: The taxes imposed by the so-called Affordable Care Act. Under the bill, the job-killing medical device tax will be delayed for another two years. This foolhardy tax, which has been criticized and condemned by members of both parties, came back into effect at the start of this year.…The House package also extends the delayed impact of the so-called Cadillac Tax, which was another one of Obamacare’s ill-advised shots aimed at the middle class. Again, members from both parties have expressed concern and opposed this tax. Previous delays have received broad, bipartisan support. The House bill would put off the impact of the Cadillac Tax through 2021 … Finally, the bill would pull back the Health Insurance Tax, another reckless tax provision, in 2019. This tax targets small businesses and middle class consumers.” (U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Press Release, 1/17/2018)

“[Sen. Dean] Heller has also repeatedly fought to delay implementation of Obamacare’s ‘Cadillac tax’ and in early 2017 introduced bipartisan legislation with Sen. Heinrich (D-NM) to do so.” (Sen. Heller, Press Release, 1/20/2018)

Opening ANWR

SEN. MURKOWSKI: ‘The Economic Benefits Will Be Substantial, Our National Security Will Be Strengthened’

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “There is one more element of this bill that deserves special attention. It provides the nation, and particularly the people of Alaska, with a tremendous opportunity to develop the state’s bountiful natural resources. In 1980, Congress set aside a particular non-wilderness area within Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge for potential development of its oil and gas resources. This bill is our chance to finally make good on that promise, enhancing our country’s energy security and creating good-paying jobs in the process. Unlocking the resources of this area will provide a boon to Alaska’s economy. But more broadly, it will also advance America’s standing as an energy superpower, helping to cut Americans’ energy costs and strengthening our national security. For too long, special interests have stood in the way of responsible development.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 12/19/2017)

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK), Energy & Natural Resources Committee Chairman: “‘This is a watershed moment for Alaska and all of America… We have fought to open the 1002 Area for a very long time, and now, our day has finally arrived.’ … For 37 years, the members of Alaska’s congressional delegation have championed legislation to open a small portion of the 1002 Area, within the non-wilderness portion of ANWR, to responsible energy development. That effort culminated today with congressional passage of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act…” (Sen. Murkowski, Press Release, 12/20/2017)

SEN. DAN SULLIVAN (R-AK): “Responsibly developing the coastal plain of ANWR — commonly referred to as the 1002 area — is truly a win for the United States. It will create jobs, grow the economy, increase energy security for Americans, and, importantly, help protect the global environment and strengthen our national security.” (Sen. Sullivan, Washington Post Column, 11/30/2017)

‘A Longtime Republican Priority,’ ‘Extremely Important For Alaska’

“The Republicans' tax package would …open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling … Opening the remote Arctic refuge to oil and gas drilling is a longtime Republican priority … The Arctic refuge has been the focus of a political fight for nearly four decades.” (“Tax Bill Boosts Oil, Gas Drilling And Renewable Energy,” The Associated Press, 12/15/2017)

LIZ RUSKIN, NPR: “It's really quite incredible because, for years, the Alaska delegation has … relentlessly fought for it.” (“Tax Bill Would Open Alaska Wildlife Refuge To Drilling,” NPR, 12/17/2017)

Real Reform For American Veterans

In 2017, Significant Bipartisan Victories On Behalf Of Our Nation’s Veterans

SEN. JOHNNY ISAKSON (R-GA): “As chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I take very seriously our responsibility to serve those who have served us. … The Senate has passed 10 major veterans bills this year that have all been signed into law. This remarkable achievement is a testament to the teamwork, leadership and commitment of all members of Congress, regardless of political party. … The veterans of the United States have better health care, better benefits and a more modern and responsive VA in the years ahead as a result of our work this year, and I’m proud to have been a part of it.” (Sen. Isakson, Press Release, 12/20/2017)

Veterans Appeals Improvement And Modernization Act: ‘Trump Signs Bill to Speed Up VA Disability Appeals Process’

“‘This is a big one,’ President Donald Trump said Wednesday as he signed into law a bill to reform and speed up the appeals process on disability ratings at the Department of Veterans Affairs.” (“Trump Signs Bill to Speed Up VA Disability Appeals Process,” Military.com, 8/23/2017)

SENATOR JOHNNY ISAKSON (R-GA): “For far too long, our veterans have faced unacceptable delays in their claims appeals. With this legislation, we’re going to reduce the time it takes for our veterans to get a decision and increase the opportunity for them to receive their just benefits. I am pleased that this legislation moved quickly to reach the president’s desk and to be signed into law.” (Sen. Isakson, Press Release, 8/23/2017)

VA Choice And Quality Employment Act: ‘Critical That The Veterans Choice Program Has The Funding … For Veterans In Their Own Communities’

“President Donald Trump on Saturday signed a $3.9 billion funding deal for the Department of Veterans Affairs that will shore up the nearly bankrupt Veterans Choice Program and allow the VA to open 28 new clinics and implement new hiring programs.” (“Trump Signs $3.9 Billion VA Funding Bill To Avert Crisis For Choice Program,” Stars & Stripes, 8/12/2017)

SEN. DEAN HELLER (R-NV): “Guaranteeing Nevada’s veterans continue to have access to the VA Choice program has always been a top priority of mine, so I was proud to play an important role in getting funding for the program across the finish line and to the President’s desk to be signed into law… From chemotherapy to critical life-saving surgeries, the Veterans Choice Program will ensure Nevada’s veterans have access to services that the VA cannot provide.” (Sen. Heller, Press Release, 8/2/2017)

SEN. JOHNNY ISAKSON (R-GA): “It is critical that the Veterans Choice Program has the funding to continue offering timely appointments for veterans in their own communities… This bicameral, bipartisan agreement is truly a testament to what can be accomplished when Congress works together. I thank my colleagues in the House and Senate for their swift action and look forward to the president signing this important legislation into law.” (Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Press Release, 8/01/2017)

Building On The Work Already Accomplished For Veterans Last Congress

VETERANS CHOICE ACT: “What is the Veterans Choice Act? This federal program sets aside $10 billion throughout three years for veterans who live more than 40 miles from a VA facility or who find themselves waiting more than 30 days for an appointment. The program allows them to be seen at a participating community health center.” (“VA Opens More Doors To Rural Veterans In Virginia,” Daily Press, 12/7/15)

SENS. ISAKSON (R-GA) & TESTER (D-MT): “With the enactment of the Veterans Choice Program, designed to provide veterans with more timely appointment options, there were 2.1 million more veterans’ appointments in the VA in 2016 than the previous year. Last month, President Trump signed into law the Veterans Choice Program Improvement Act, legislation that we introduced to ensure veterans would continue to have access to timely care in their own communities while setting the stage for further reforms to the program.” (“Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Leaders On The Way Forward To Improve Veteran Care,” Military Times, 5/29/2017)

Forever GI Bill: ‘A Sweeping Expansion Of GI Bill Education Benefits’

“The nation’s veterans groups and advocates are cheering the new ‘Forever’ GI Bill being signed into law today. The bipartisan legislation, signed by President Donald Trump this afternoon, does away with a 15-year deadline for veterans to use education money and allows all Purple Heart recipients to get full benefits, among other expansions. The American Legion said the new GI Bill marks the next era for the nation’s veterans. ‘This lifetime benefit will allow veterans, and their families, to earn degrees and begin rewarding careers that can lead our economy,’ said Charles E. Schmidt, the Legion’s national leader. ‘We believe that this legislation, named after a past national commander of the American Legion, will transform America as the original did following World War II.’” (“Hello, 'Forever' GI Bill. Goodbye, Time Restrictions For Vets,” The San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/16/2017)

VA Accountability And Whistleblower Protection Act: ‘Helping To Shore Up Accountability’

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Just a couple months ago, we passed important VA reform legislation — which is now law; the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act is helping to shore up accountability measures, improve transparency, and enhance the VA’s ability to remove unsatisfactory employees while also protecting those who speak up about wrongdoings within the VA.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 8/3/2017)

VETERANS AFFAIRS SECRETARY DAVID SHULKIN: “Since the President’s been in office, we’ve removed over 700 employees from the VA. In fact, I now publish on a weekly basis all of our disciplinary actions of firings or suspensions or demotions so that everyone can see and track our progress.” (“VA Secretary Says John Kelly’s New Role Is A Reset For The Trump Administration,” The Washington Times, 8/1/2017)

The VALOR Act: ‘Increase Access To Apprenticeship-Training Programs For Veterans’

SEN. THOM TILLIS (R-NC): “I applaud Congress for passing the VALOR Act on a bipartisan basis to reduce burdensome requirements on businesses so apprenticeship programs will be more accessible to veterans.” (Sen. Tillis, Press Release, 11/17/2017)

“The Veteran Apprenticeship and Labor Opportunity Reform Act would increase access to apprenticeship-training programs for veterans by streamlining the certification process for non-federal apprenticeship programs based in more than one state. … Under current law, non-federal apprenticeship training programs located in multiple states have to register with each state approval agency individually, subjecting them to mountains of paperwork and multiple burdensome review processes... In response, employers have decided to limit their programs to a smaller number of states and, as a result, hire fewer veterans. The VALOR Act would amend current law to allow for a single, more streamlined approval process.” (“Tillis’ VALOR Act Awaits President’s Signature,” Richmond County Daily Journal, 11/17/2017)

For Details On The Addition Laws Passed To Help Veterans This Congress, Please See Here

The Longest S-CHIP Extension In History

‘Parents Of The Almost 9 Million Children Who Receive Coverage Under The Federal Children's Health Insurance Program, Or CHIP, Can Breathe Easier’

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT): “For more than 20 years, CHIP has served as a literal lifeline for millions of children whose families could not otherwise afford health insurance. Without exaggeration, this groundbreaking program has saved thousands of young lives—and it has long stood as a symbol of what our two parties can accomplish when we look beyond the horizon of our differences to find common ground.” (Sen. Hatch, Floor Remarks, 1/21/2018)

In ‘Deal Ending The Government Shutdown … Winner: CHIP Kids’

“A federal government shutdown that has lasted nearly three days is on track to come to an end later Monday … the beneficiaries of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, whose funding will be safe for the next six years, secured a long-term win.” (“3 Winners And 2 Losers From The Deal Ending The Government Shutdown,” Vox, 1/22/2018)

  • “Winner: CHIP kids…CHIP’s funding crisis is finally over. The bill to keep the government open for the next two-and-a-half weeks also includes a six-year extension of CHIP’s budget. (Indeed, Republicans had offered this before the shutdown, and this time it was Democrats who wouldn’t accept it.) This means that states will no longer have to worry about how long their funding will last, and that 9 million kids who get covered through the program can finally rest easy.” (“3 Winners And 2 Losers From The Deal Ending The Government Shutdown,” Vox, 1/22/2018)


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