A Year In Review in the 115th Congress
by Kevin Brady on December 24, 2018 at 10:20 AM
115th Congress By The Numbers
Under Republican leadership, the 115th Congress had an extremely productive session. Collectively, we’ve passed 1,135 bills out of committee, which is 343 more bills than the congressional average. On the floor, we’ve passed 1,011 bills out of the House, which is 279 more bills than average. Of these 1,011 bills, 245 have been signed into law; and I’m proud to have sponsored four and co-sponsored ten.
ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT
On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law. When I first introduced this bill, my goals were simple: cut taxes for the middle-class, simplify our unfair and broken tax code and make America the most competitive place in the world to do business. One year later, it is clear these goals have been accomplished. Our new tax code is simple and allows hardworking Americans— not Washington— to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks. Small businesses are thriving, consumer optimism is at record-highs and the economy is booming in a way we haven’t seen in decades. Workers are seeing higher wages and decreased unemployment, and families are taking advantage of increased deductions and the ability to save for retirement earlier. There can be no question the Republican led tax reform altered the trajectory of the American economy for the better. Simply put, our nation is winning again.
REBUILDING AFTER HURRICANE HARVEY
Hurricane Harvey was one of the most devastating storms in history, and the damage was felt by the residents of the Eighth Congressional District and our neighbors. The storm left thousands of Texans homeless and without resources, and 88 Texans lost their lives. In the aftermath, Texans came together to rebuild and recover. In Washington, the Texas Delegation worked to deliver the quickest disaster relief in history, and in just six months we were able to provide $146 billion in relief funding. My team and I were on the ground and witnessed first-hand the incredible outpouring of love and support, not only from fellow Texans, but from folks all across the country. Looking back, what I remember most is the resilient and unbreakable spirit of all Texans and a state that truly showed what it means to be #TexasStrong.
Throughout the 115th congress, I’ve been dedicated to protecting America’s businesses and hardworking people. As part of our fight to reduce Washington’s regulatory burdens, Republicans have repealed 17 burdensome regulations from the previous administration, which have saved the U.S. economy over $4 billion (Leader McCarthy, American Action Forum). Just this month, the Administration also announced that regulatory reform efforts have saved American families and business $23 billion in fiscal year 2018—even more good news.
SUPPORT FOR MILITARY AND VETERANS
For the first time since 2008, Congress and the Administration worked together to fully fund our military – on time. This appropriations bill increased funding to every branch, boosted troop levels, provided dedicated funding for equipment maintenance and gave our service men and women the largest pay raise in nine years. In addition, President Trump made it clear that supporting our Veterans is a top priority, and I agree. I am proud to report that the 115th Congress has prioritized legislation impacting our Veterans. In fact, the House passed more than seventy Veterans bills—over twenty of which have been signed into law by President Trump—to improve the care and services provided to our Veterans. This included legislation to improve accountability and whistleblower protections at the VA, improve veterans’ Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), and expand veterans’ access to community care. Measures like these are crucial for national defense and ensure the brave men and women serving our nation have our full support.
COMBATTING THE OPIOID CRISIS
In response to the opioid crisis, Congress put aside party politics and came together to provide necessary support to communities who are struggling. The Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act was a bipartisan bill signed into law by the President that took an important first step in defeating the opioid crisis once and for all. By expanding treatment resources, educating folks on the dangers of opioids and stopping the flow of synthetic opioids into our country, the SUPPORT act will save lives and make towns across the country safer.
We’ve accomplished a lot in the 115th Congress—but there is still more work to be done. As we head into the new year and new Congress, I look forward to working with my colleagues to address the critical issues facing our nation, and as the Ranking Member on the House Committee on Ways and Means, I remain committed to fighting for the hardworking folks of the Eighth Congressional District of Texas and for American workers all across the nation.
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From my family to yours, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.