With the start of a new year, it’s important that we all reflect on the accomplishments of 2019. From surging job creation to a bolstered economy, lower unemployment to paring back ineffective government regulations, the American people continue to see progress. Though the mainstream media and pundits continue to write off this progress, the results speak for themselves. As we look back, here are my top-of-mind accomplishments from this past year:
GREAT Act Signed into Law
On December 30th, President Trump signed H.R. 150, the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act into law. Representative Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) and I sponsored this piece of landmark legislation to develop a standardized, government-wide reporting system for federal grant recipients. For too long, federal grant reporting has relied on outdated, ineffective reporting methods that require nonprofit groups - serving their communities - to divert valuable working hours to fill out tedious, redundant paperwork. This legislation will bring unprecedented transparency and efficiency to approximately $650 billion in annual federal spending.
Defending Visually-Impaired Workers
H.R. 4920, the Department of Veterans Affairs Contracting Preference Consistency Act, a bipartisan bill that solves unnecessary conflicts in laws relating to contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Through this legislation, contracts held through 2006 by the AbilityOne Program – the largest source of employment for people with disabilities in the U.S. – will continue to be eligible for renewal. IFB Solutions, the largest employer of people who are blind or visually impaired in the U.S., holds a current contract with AbilityOne. This legislation passed the House on December 16th, and I will continue to advocate for its quick adoptions in the Senate.
Passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement
In December, the House passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) with bipartisan support. Through the USMCA, over $68.2 billion would be added to the U.S. economy and over 176,000 new jobs would be created. President Trump has worked tirelessly to deliver common sense trade reform that puts America first, and I’m proud to have supported the USMCA on both the House floor and in the Education and Labor Committee.
Combatting Robo Calls
In July, I was proud to support the passage of S. 151, the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, which will inhibit excessive robocalls by establishing a nationwide caller authentication system. Through S. 151, cellular carriers will identify potential robocallers and provide the option for people to block robocalls. Instead of bearing the brunt of unwanted calls daily, this bill will finally take bad actors to task and protect Americans from these unnecessary hassles. The bill was signed into law by President Trump on December 30th.
Lowering Prescription Drug Costs
Let’s be clear, the rising costs of prescription medications in the United States is simply unacceptable. If we are to solve this growing problem, it must be done on a bipartisan basis. Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats would rather sacrifice innovation, constrict access to lifesaving medical treatments, and blatantly undermine meaningful investments that can lead to cures. I was proud to cosponsor H.R.19, the Lower Costs, More Cures Act, that lowers out of pocket costs, spurs market competition, and increases access to lifesaving cures.
Repealing Burdensome Affordable Care Act Taxes
In the recent package passed by the Senate, the Cadillac Tax, Health Insurance Tax, and the Medical Device Tax, are set to be repealed. These three taxes have been borne by hardworking Americans and would continue to fund a flawed healthcare system. In North Carolina, medical device manufacturers have expressed grave concerns about how the Medical Device Tax would eliminate jobs, undermine research and development, and would bring medical innovation to a screeching halt. I look forward to supporting new efforts this year that deliver common sense healthcare solutions to all Americans.