Jun 11 2018
Senate Sets Sights on More Achievements With Cancellation of August State Work Period
Over the past 500 days, the Trump Administration and a Republican Congress have delivered on many of their promises to the American people. With more work still ahead, now is not the time for a victory lap. In fact, the recently announced cancellation of the August state work period is a signal that the Senate will not be slowing down but adding to its list of policy successes.
Unemployment Hits 18-Year Low
Those successes – which include massive tax cuts and regulatory rollbacks – are making a noticeable difference in Americans’ lives. The Department of Labor’s jobs report for the month of May underscored the positive effect, including the particularly exciting news that the unemployment rate has now dropped to its lowest rate in nearly two decades. Americans have not seen 3.8 percent unemployment since the turn of the new millennium.
Job creation is booming, with 223,000 jobs added in May and a staggering one million jobs created since historic tax reform was passed last year. The outlook is bright, with polls showing a rising optimism among workers and small business owners.
Congress Repeals 16 Obama Regulations
Tax reform is only part of the economic equation. The elimination of red tape and unnecessary Washington intrusion has also helped unleash business potential. The 115th Congress has used its authority under the Congressional Review Act to roll back 16 Obama-era rules that put bureaucratic burdens on taxpayers, job creators, and local communities. Other congressional and executive efforts have helped stop costly environmental and banking rules that were driving up energy bills and discouraging local investment.
These steps to reinvigorate the economy and put Americans back to work should continue. So should the passage of policies that promote the overall well-being of our local communities. Congress has made important strides in this regard, passing measures to take care of our veterans, fight opioid abuse, and remove Obamacare’s most onerous provisions.
Nominations, Major Bills on Senate Agenda
There is more work to be done. The Senate has been diligent in confirming President Trump’s nominations, but needless procedural delays by Democrats have severely slowed the process. It is appalling that President Trump’s judicial and executive picks have been subjected to 101 cloture votes, compared to 12 times for President Obama and four times for President Bush during their first two years in office. The extra session time in August should allow for the Senate to approve more of President Trump’s nominees to serve the American people.
More big legislative items are on the horizon, and I hope the same can-do spirit that ushered in tax reform will help get these major bills across the finish line. Senate committees have already been working hard on policies to strengthen our nation’s water infrastructure and our agricultural future. The Armed Services Committee has passed the annual defense bill to ensure that our military is prepared and our nation is secure. This summer is shaping up to be a productive one, continuing the record of achievements that has dominated President Trump’s first 500 days.