Two years ago, we promised the American people we’d overhaul the tax code, roll back burdensome regulations, make our communities safer, and begin rebuilding our military.
We kept those promises, and that’s why America is Better Off Now.
As they head home and continue to meet with, and listen to, the people they represent, House Republicans took to the House floor to highlight the work done and progress made over these past two years. Check it out:
Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA)
“Mr. Speaker, two years ago, House Republicans made a promise to the American people that there was a better way forward under our leadership. Our Better Way Agenda outlined a pathway toward safer communities, a stronger military, and a robust economy. Since then, House Republicans have compiled a record of results, not rhetoric.
“Thanks to this progress, the American people are better off now. Republicans started by moving bills that address some of the biggest issues plaguing cities and towns across the country: We have passed over 50 bills to put an end to the opioid epidemic in our communities. FOSTA, which will dismantle the online sex trafficking industry, was signed into law. We are also keeping our children safe by providing additional funding and resources for school safety programs. We are rebuilding our military, ensuring our troops have the tools, training, and equipment they need to carry out their missions and keep us safe both at home and abroad. Our brave men and women in uniform received their largest pay raise in nearly 10 years. We are keeping our promise to provide our veterans with the care they have earned by overhauling the VA and ensuring that they have access to reliable, quality care.
“The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act has undoubtedly had the most significant positive effect on the daily lives of Americans. Tax reform has led to unprecedented economic growth across our nation. Americans are keeping more of their hard-earned paychecks, while companies in all 50 States are creating jobs and opportunity for all. At home in Orange County, the unemployment rate has dropped to a near 20-year low, while pay and benefits continue to rise. Nationally, jobless claims have fallen to their lowest levels since 1969, and economic confidence is soaring.
“Mr. Speaker, I could go on about the numerous accomplishments House Republicans have achieved in the last 18 months, but the American people don’t need convincing. They are seeing the results firsthand. Our nation is, without question, better off now, and we will continue our work to improve the lives of all Americans.”
Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO)
“Mr. Speaker, in April, my bill, the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, or FOSTA, became law. FOSTA allows Federal, State, and local prosecutors to go after the online businesses that are trafficking our children. Signing FOSTA into law has decimated the online sex trade that fuels human trafficking in America. Scores of major websites that promoted sex trafficking and prostitution have shut down, and countless lives have been saved.
“Our communities are better off now because of FOSTA: fewer victims are being trafficked; buyers are no longer able to easily purchase women and children; and fewer pimps are getting their payday. The online slave trade has never been more fragile than today. After passage of FOSTA, global ad volume declined 87 percent from the daily average. Websites that dominated the illegal sex trade shut down for fear of being prosecuted. Websites like Massage Tolls, The Erotic Review, and Escorts in College are gone. Household names like Reddit, Google, PayPal, and Microsoft updated their terms of service to ensure that platforms aren’t being abused by traffickers.
“Additionally, the Department of Justice shut down backpage.com, and its owners were arrested. Right now, we have this criminal enterprise on its heels. Buyers and pimps don’t know where to turn, and traffickers are getting 90 percent fewer responses than they got on Backpage and the other leading trafficking sites that shut down. The bottom line is websites are doing everything they can to avoid criminal liability, while trying to keep their criminal enterprise alive. But the loopholes that they were utilizing no longer exist. Financial institutions are also cracking down on accounts used by trafficking.
“CC Bill, the payment processor of these porn and trafficking hubs stopped processing credit cards for websites that facilitate prostitution. CC Bill was the domestic credit card processor of last resort, and websites are now struggling to find a viable alternative. Together, we are putting the online slave trade out of business. As trafficking becomes less profitable, fewer victims will ever be sold and raped.
“FOSTA is striking fear in the hearts of America’s pimps and online predators. Law enforcement is seeing real results, and that is why FOSTA is being called the most significant anti-trafficking law in nearly 20 years. Experts have repeatedly said that sex trafficking will flourish until market force of risk is increased and we create a real criminal deterrent. FOSTA establishes that deterrent, and as a result, fewer businesses will ever, ever enter the sex trade. Sex advertising is at a new low for this decade.
“And this Congress has demonstrated that we can and will hold accountable the businesses that profit from the sale of our most vulnerable. It is because of the massive bipartisan majorities of both the House and the Senate that FOSTA is law today. The results we are seeing in our communities are proof that Congress can, and does, work together to achieve real results for the American people. Lives have been saved, fewer children and women are being sold into slavery, and trafficking and prostitution websites are being shut down. We are delivering real results for real people and our country is better off now because of it.”
Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA)
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join my colleagues in discussing how Americans are better off now. Two years ago, I told the First District of Georgia about our Better Way Agenda, our bold agenda to tackle some of our Nation’s greatest challenges and improve the lives of everyday Americans. Now, two years later, I am thrilled Americans are experiencing the results. We have instituted sound, pro-growth policies, and the economy is booming. Now people are no longer asking: Where are the jobs? Instead, thanks to tax reform, rolling back burdensome regulations, and more, we have more job openings than job seekers.
“Just last week, I visited a local business called Game Changers, with locations in Richmond Hill and Savannah. While there, I learned their revenue is up at both of their locations. They are hiring new employees at both locations, and they have increased wages and given bonuses to their employees. It is incredible to hear these stories of how local small businesses and hardworking Georgians are thriving again. That is not all. As the proud Representative of every branch of the military, I have been fighting for our troops, veterans, and military families because they deserve better.
“Republicans have taken historic actions to rebuild our military and fix the VA. After years of neglect, we have provided new investments in training, equipment, and personnel to reverse the damage of the last decade. Members of our military put their lives on the line for our country, and we are working to provide the support to ensure they are the most well-prepared and well-equipped force on the planet. Finally, we have made major strides to make our communities safer, including fighting the opioid epidemic. The House has passed more than 50 bills combating this crisis that is killing 115 Americans every day. The list goes on and on.
“House Republicans are fighting every day for Americans in Washington to deliver results, not rhetoric. I hear it from small businesses, big businesses, and citizens in the First District all the time. Americans are truly better off now.”
Education and the Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
“Mr. Speaker, I thank Congresswoman Walters, and I appreciate her leading this Special Order tonight to bring to the attention of the American people the fact that they are better off now than they were two years ago. This is an important message for us to share with the American people. Many of us are doing it individually, but we appreciate the gentlewoman’s leadership on this.
“Mr. Speaker, two years ago, House Republicans promised to replace our broken tax code and rein in the runaway administrative state that stifled our economy and made it harder for businesses to create jobs and grow. We proposed a better way to grow the economy with solutions for hardworking Americans who were being chewed up by our system and struggling to get by. This Congress, we have delivered on our promises, and I am pleased to say that North Carolinians are better off now.
“We passed the most significant tax reform in over 30 years, and everyday Americans are already reaping the benefits. According to the Tax Foundation, the average increase in take-home pay for a family of four in the Fifth District is $1,843. I would like to say that again, Mr. Speaker: $1,843. Those are hard-earned wages being kept in paychecks and not sent to Washington to finance inefficient government bureaucracy.
“Speaking of bureaucracy, Mr. Speaker, this Congress has also enacted historic regulatory relief, with 16 Congressional Review Act resolutions becoming law. Five of those resolutions came out of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which I chair, and I was able to get a sixth enacted that I sponsored that came through another committee. We have rolled back some of the most burdensome Obama-era regulations concocted by Washington bureaucrats who thought they knew better than American farmers and business owners. But Republicans did not agree with them.
“North Carolina’s economy is evidence that Republicans’ policies are working for the American people. Just compare the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s figures from June of last year to this year and you will see that our State now stands 100,000 jobs ahead. There is still work to be done, but thanks to tax and regulatory relief, North Carolinians are better off now.”
House GOP Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
“Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend and colleague for yielding and for hosting us this evening in a Special Order to talk more about Americans who are better off now because of our hard work over this Congress. I want to just join in sharing why Americans and their families are better off, and it is because Republicans have provided a better way and results that work. After years of struggling to get ahead, hardworking men and women are now seeing jobs, opportunity, and confidence come roaring back. This is the comeback story that was made possible at the beginning through our Better Way Agenda.
“Over the past two years, we have worked hard to deliver on that agenda. Mr. Speaker, at better.gop, you can check out the promises that we have kept and why, as a result, America is stronger at home and abroad with a booming economy, safer communities, and a revived military. After historic tax reform and our work to rein in Obama-era regulations, unemployment is at a historic low, job openings at a record high, paychecks are growing, and wages are rising right along with consumer confidence.
“In my home State of Washington, the average wage increase just hit a 10- year high, and those increases are benefiting rural communities as well, like Garfield County. Garfield County is in my district. It is the smallest county in the State of Washington, and the average wage increase has been 8.7 percent in the last year. Asotin County is another small, rural county, and they have seen a 6.6 percent increase in the last year. For other rural counties, unemployment rates are dropping sharply. Pend Oreille County is in my district. They have seen a 3.2 percent drop in their unemployment rate. For families and small businesses that are no longer overtaxed and over-regulated, they have confidence again that they can achieve a better life and reach their full potential. That is what I am most excited about.
“I am excited about the hope and the optimism that it is bringing to people in eastern Washington and across this country. b 1945 It wasn’t that long ago, in 2010, unemployment was at 9.9 percent. Our policies have unleashed economic growth. It is now at 4 percent. More Americans are coming off the sidelines and into the workforce. Just last month, there were 600,000 Americans. I am proud to say that it includes people with disabilities. As The Washington Post recently reported, the jobless rate for workers with disabilities has fallen at a faster rate than the general population. This is great news because Washington State is getting ready to launch our ABLE accounts. I was proud to lead efforts in tax reform to provide a way for those with disabilities to explore work, get a part-time job or an internship, and take that money and put it back into their ABLE account. Today, 50,000 people in my State will be eligible for ABLE accounts. It will help them find a job that gives them independence, dignity, and purpose. We all recognize that a job is a foundation for a better life.
“A booming economy isn’t the only reason why Americans are better off. We have also made significant investments to combat the opioid crisis and human trafficking, target dangerous criminals, and make schools safer. After the Obama administration left our Armed Forces depleted, we have made good on promises to revive and rebuild our military.
“In addition to giving our troops the biggest pay increase in almost a decade, we have provided for the largest increase in defense in 15 years. Our troops, including those I have the privilege of representing at Fairchild Air Force Base, will now have additional resources to train, address the readiness crisis, and keep America secure.
“Madam Speaker, the American people don’t want rhetoric. They want results. After years of slow growth, lack of confidence, stagnant wages, and a stagnant economy, they asked for a better way. I am proud to have been a part of a group that has proven that we can get those results done. By putting people first and focusing on improving lives, we have delivered real results and a better way forward. That is why Americans are better off today. I invite everyone to learn more at better.gop.”
Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA)
“The results are clear: Americans are better off. I have heard from small businesses like Shred-X in Griffin, Georgia; Custom Truck and Body Works in Woodbury, Georgia; and Emma Hill Manufacturing in LaGrange, Georgia. All of these businesses are making investments. They are expanding. They are being more productive. Most importantly, they are hiring more people, and they are investing in their people with higher wages and better training.
“Families are doing better throughout our district. But these businesses are doing more than simply investing in their people and in their businesses. They are investing in their communities. So our communities are becoming more helpful. All of this is a result of a tax reform bill, a better regulatory environment, and a changing attitude in education that ensures that people pursue their talents and not just a degree. They are involved in making sure that they are able to make a living in viable careers for a long period of time.
“It is not just the economy that is making us more secure. We have invested heavily in our military, and we have fully funded our men and women serving this nation. Most importantly, when they returned home, we have made the changes in the VA that, over time, will make sure that they have the benefits that they have earned and, quite candidly, that they deserve. We have also made investments in many other areas. Think about what we have been able to accomplish with human trafficking. We are beginning to take steps to really change how we view addiction and the opioid crisis. We are making progress, and that is making Americans better. So it is easy to get caught up in the news of the moment, to get clouded from the really good things that are happening. But we are here to remind America that things are better now because of the work that we have done in this House of Representatives.”
Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL)
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today because, after years of struggling to get ahead, America is finally better off. America is stronger at home and abroad, with a booming economy, safer communities, and a revived military. Thanks to the historic tax reform, unemployment is at an all-time low; job openings are at record highs; paychecks are increasing; wages are rising; and small businesses are expanding. I hear it from people in Florida all the time: My constituents are better off.
“Mr. Speaker, I represent Florida’s Fourth Congressional District, which is home to many military families; and I am proud to say that we have begun to rebuild our military and support our men and women in uniform. We have passed legislation giving our troops the largest pay increase in almost 9 years, and investing $144 billion in upgrading and maintaining our military facilities. Our military men and women are better off.
“The work that we have done and continue to do is creating a better way for the people of northeast Florida and for all Americans. Although there is much more to do, the economy is soaring, and Republican policies are helping to improve people’s lives, making it easier for families to get ahead with a renewed sense of confidence.”
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)
“Mr. Speaker, America is winning again, and before we embark on the August recess, let’s take into account what just 18 months of unified Republican government has meant for the American people. According to the IMD World Competitive Center’s 2018 rankings, the United States of America has overtaken Hong Kong as the world’s number one most competitive economy thanks to faster economic growth and a supportive atmosphere for scientific and technological innovation. Our entire stock market is hovering around all-time highs. Our national unemployment rate has reached its lowest level in 18 years. Female unemployment has reached its lowest levels since 1953. That is over 65 years ago. Black and Hispanic unemployment have reached their lowest levels ever.
“More than 3.7 million new jobs have been created since President Trump took office, including 358,000 new jobs in manufacturing. In contrast, more than 16,000 manufacturing jobs nationwide were lost in 2016, the year before President Trump took office. b 1115 In 2017, an average of 16,333 manufacturing jobs were created per month; and last month, 26,000 new manufacturing jobs were created, bringing it to a total of 358,000 new jobs in manufacturing since President Trump’s inauguration in January of 2017. And it continues to grow today. The U.S. currently has 6.6 million job openings. It is at an all-time high.
“There are now more job openings than there are job seekers in the United States for the third straight month. In May, new hires rose to 5.75 million. That is the highest level in 17 years and the second highest level on record. An all-time high of 155.6 million Americans now have jobs. Now, back home in Pennsylvania’s Third Congressional District, which is soon to be its 16th Congressional District, the unemployment rate has dropped significantly in all seven counties.
“In Erie County, unemployment is now at an 18-year low, and in Crawford County, it is at a 42-year low. Wages for workers in Pennsylvania and across America have grown steadily by almost 3 percent over the past year and are continuing to climb. Jobless claims, which are also known as unemployment benefit filings, have reached a 48-year low. That is half a century. Customer confidence has reached its highest level since 2001. Job market confidence and small business confidence are at their highest levels ever.
“Since President Trump signed the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act in December of last year, businesses have created more than 1.3 million new jobs for American workers. And thanks to the tax cuts, more than 650 companies and counting are reinvesting billions of dollars into their businesses and have given more than 4.5 million American workers and counting major bonuses or pay raises or benefit increases. In my home district, this has included employees for NexTier Bank, Erie Insurance, PNC Bank, Walmart, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Home Depot, the National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, and many more.
“Nationally, more than 100 United States utility companies have lowered bills for customers in 48 States. Since February of this year, 90 percent of American wage earners have been opening bigger, less taxed paychecks with more take-home pay. In my home district, the average tax cuts for individuals is $1,230. For families of four, it is $2,427. Those are hardly crumbs. In over 10 years, households will enjoy an average of more than $18,000 in take-home pay, and these are dollars that they have earned and now they get to spend it the way they want to as opposed to sending it to the government for the government to spend it the way the government would like to.
“The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act has also established the brand-new opportunity zones, a program to incentivize private investors to make long-term investments in communities that have faced economic hardships, which means even more jobs are on the way. The New York Times has called this provision the first substantial Federal attempt to aid those communities in more than a decade. Mr. Speaker, in every measurable way, all Americans are better off now than we were just 2 short years ago. In every measurable way, America is winning again.”
Rep. French Hill (R-AR)
“Mr. Speaker, America is better off. America is better off because U.S. crude exports have more than doubled since January 2017, and production is up 12 percent so far this year alone. Since Congress lifted the 40-year ban on oil exports in 2015, U.S. producers now export between 1.5 and 2 million barrels of crude every day. Lifting the ban has filled pipelines and sparked a surge of investment in new technology and shipping infrastructure around the United States.
“Today, U.S. crude imports have dropped 7.5 million barrels per day, as we rely on that increased domestic production and our friends in Canada. Lifting the ban has allowed us to be in competition with the two highest producing crude oil countries in the world, Saudi Arabia and Russia. According to the International Energy Agency, this year, the United States is expected to surpass Saudi Arabia and rival Russia as the world’s leading producer of crude oil. This comes as Germany is working with Russia on a pipeline that will deliver more than 50 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia to Germany.
“During the recent NATO summit in Brussels, President Trump was right to strategically question Germany’s further reliance on Russia’s natural gas. Our liquefied natural gas and oil delivered to the Adriatic, North Sea, and Baltic seaports offer our allies in Europe strategic diversification both from OPEC and from Russian dominance for our friends in Western and Central Europe, their consumers, and their industries.
“Mr. Speaker, America is better off. I commend President Trump for raising this important issue on his recent trip to Europe, and I am proud of our work in Congress to enhance America’s global energy leadership.”
Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI)
“Mr. Speaker, as I travel Michigan’s Seventh District, from neighborhood stores to the factory floor, there is a renewed sense of optimism. Folks I hear from feel safer and more secure about the future. The economy is thriving thanks to pro-growth policies like tax cuts and regulatory reform.
“Businesses are hiring, and there are more job openings than job seekers, and workers and families are seeing bigger paychecks and more take-home pay. It is not just our economy that is getting stronger; our military is as well. We are taking care of our troops, raising their pay, and reforming the VA to help our veterans.
“We have also taken significant steps to combat the opioid epidemic, crack down on human trafficking, and make our communities safer. Is there more work to do? Absolutely. Our focus will remain on helping to improve people’s lives and making it easier for them to get ahead. The results so far are clear: Americans are better off now.”
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM)
“In June, New Mexico’s unemployment rate ticked down to 4.9 percent. This is the first time the state’s unemployment rate has gone below 5 percent since September 2008. And just for perspective, one year ago in 2017, the unemployment was at 6.1 percent. When we passed the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, New Mexico didn’t immediately feel the results. But now that people are being filled with confidence, businesses are hiring, they’re expanding, and people are going back to work.
“But even a more remarkable development was the right to export our oil. Two counties in New Mexico are driving a surplus that is causing America to extend above and beyond where Saudi Arabia is currently producing. We’re on track to become Number One…when we release the ingenuity of the American worker, America can compete with anyone. These things are happening. America is better off today because of what we’ve done here in Congress as the Republicans.”
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC)
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of the great news that the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act continues to deliver for the people and small businesses of the Fifth District of South Carolina. It has been almost 7 months since tax reform, and our economy is booming.
“People have a renewed hope and sense of security in their futures again. Firsthand, I see small businesses in my district expanding and creating more jobs. New hires are at the highest level in 17 years. Small-business optimism is the highest in decades. Consumer confidence is at its highest in 2 decades. I have directly heard from families who are seeing more hard-earned dollars remaining in their pockets.
“Because of our pro-growth policies, our economy, our families, and our businesses in my district and across the Nation will have strong futures. Thanks to tax reform, South Carolinians and Americans are better off now.”