2017: A Congressional Year in Review

Dec 30, 2017 | communications •

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve! We can’t believe 2017 is coming to a close. As is custom this time of year, we wanted to take a minute and look back on some of the highlights from 2017.

Without further ado, here are some of the best moments from the first year of the 115th Congress.

Tax Reform

That’s right, Congress passed an overhaul to our tax code this year. This historic legislation undid a 31-year-old status quo that was muddled with special interests and impossible-to-maneuver compliance regulations.

The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act passed the Senate on December 19 and the House on December 20, and was signed into law on December 22, making way for more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks by delivering real tax relief to Americans across the country.

House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers speaks at a press conference following the House’s passing of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act.

Repeal and Replace

On May 4, 2017, House Republicans delivered on our promise to the American people to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. This was a HUGE win for House Republicans, though unfortunately, our counterparts in the Senate did not manage to do the same with their health care bill.

Fortunately, however, House and Senate Republicans worked a repeal of the individual mandate into the final tax reform bill, passed the Senate on December 19 and the House on December 20.

President Trump and GOP House members in the Rose Garden after the House passes  Repeal and Replace (courtesy of politico).

VA Reform

This year, the House passed more than 30 bills to better the care and lives of our veterans. These bills demanded more accountability at the VA to end cyclical issues of malpractice and poor care. As House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers put it, “the way we show gratitude to those who have served is to make sure they get the care they need when the time comes.”

Check out some of the specific legislation we passed here.

House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers meets with veterans outside the WWII memorial in Washington D.C..

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

This year, House Republicans passed legislation to give our troops their largest pay raise in eight years. The NDAA increases the size of our military to combat the threats we face while also increasing funding for maintaining, training opportunities, and for modernizing facilities, ships, planes and weapons. This legislation was signed into law on December 12, 2017.

If you want to know more about this legislation, check out the Top 10 Things You Should Know about the NDAA.

President Trump signs the 2018 NDAA bill into law on December 12, 2017 (courtesy of defense.gov).

Peace of Mind for Families

This year, House Republicans were focused on the American people’s priorities. We passed legislation that added more resources to fight the opioid epidemic, including treatment and prevention. We passed sweeping reforms to end human trafficking with tougher penalties for sex traffickers and increased support for victims. We championed and protected the sanctity of life. We provided relief to victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. We even passed legislation to deliver affordable and reliable energy, so you can find relief in the prices at the pump and at home.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) speaks during a press conference following the House’s passing of hurricane relief funding in September.

Historic Regulatory Relief to Rein in Washington, D.C.

This year, House Republicans offered record relief from Obama-era red tape passing 16 bills to strike harmful regulations from the books (15 were signed into law). We want the American people to spend time with their families, build their businesses, and live their lives without having to bend over backwards to comply with regulations.

The now-repealed regulations ranged from limits on our energy production, unrealistic labor requirements, unnecessary restrictions on social security recipients, and restrictions on both education and the internet. You can see more about this regulatory relief here.

President Trump after delivering his joint address in February 2017 (courtesy of the Office of the Speaker).

So, as you can see, it’s been a productive year here in the House of Representatives. From big ticket items like health care and tax reform down to the nitty gritty Congressional Review Act resolutions. Every action we’ve taken was focused on our duty to the American people. And these are just scratching the surface. If you want to see more of what we did, check out DidYouKnow.gop.

We want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! See you on the other side.