The state of our union is strong


President Trump’s first State of the Union address on January 30 was a strong report on what has been accomplished in his first year and his goals for our nation moving forward.  The President, along with the inspiring American heroes he recognized, reaffirmed we have every reason to be optimistic about what’s ahead for our great country.
Tax reform was a main focus of the address, and for good reason.  Getting a tax code overhaul across the finish line for the first time in 31 years is a major accomplishment for a president’s first year in office.  
It is exciting to see tax reform already delivering.  More than 300 companies across the country have announced greater investments in the economy and their employees, including pay raises, bonuses, and more robust employee benefits, as a result of tax relief.  According to the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), manufacturing and small business optimism levels are among the highest in history.
President Trump was correct when he referred to tax reform as “rocket fuel” for our economy.  In the days following the State of the Union address, the U.S. Department of Labor reported employers added 200,000 jobs in January and paychecks rose at the fastest pace in eight years.  I believe these positive impacts are just the start of the long-term economic growth we will see under the new tax code.
With tax reform strengthening our economy and incentivizing job creation, I am eager to work with the Trump administration to help more Americans achieve independence by getting off the sidelines and into the workforce.
As chairman of the Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee, I appreciated President Trump’s comments on the need to focus on workforce development so every American can experience the dignity of work.  More than seven million men and five million young adults (ages 16 to 24) are still not working or in school.  Meanwhile, employers of all types and sizes across the country are struggling to find the qualified workers they need to grow their businesses.  Our goal is to bridge the job gap and help more Americans achieve self-sufficiency.   
President Trump also reflected the strength of America in his comments on national security.  I applaud his commitment to rebuilding our military, as it is crucial for our men and women in uniform to have the resources they need.   Additionally, I support the President’s decision to keep Guantanamo Bay open, reversing the Obama administration’s misguided order.  We cannot put our national security at risk by relocating terrorists to the U.S. mainland or releasing them to return to terrorism.
Given the high approval ratings for President Trump’s address, it is clear his words stirred pride and confidence in the hearts of Americans.  As he said, “The state of our union is strong because our people are strong.”  Let’s carry this message with us as we navigate the many important policy debates ahead in 2018.

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