Two years ago we set out to keep our promises to the American people with the “Better Way” agenda. This was an effort from House Republicans to ensure Americans from coast to coast live in a safe and prosperous nation where everyone has the opportunity to attain the American dream.
From economic growth to tax reform to combatting the opioid crisis and keeping Americans safe at home and abroad, we have made major headway on our goals. As members of the House of Representatives begin the August district work period, I’m happy to confidently say America is better off now.
In December, President Trump signed historic, comprehensive tax reform into law, saving the average family of four in Missouri’s third district more than $2,000. Since tax reform was signed into law, the unemployment rate has hit historic lows, 4 million Americans received bonuses, 1.3 million jobs have been created, and economic optimism is on the rise. I have heard from families across the district who are finally able to pay for swim lessons for their children or invest in their small business.
Farmers in Missouri should also rest easily knowing House Agriculture Chairman Conaway is working hard to provide certainty and stability. Having grown up raising hogs and cattle, I understand how hard farmers work day in and day out to put food on our tables and on the shelves of our grocery stores. We are well on our way to final passage of the Farm Bill which will prioritize rural America, establish forward-looking broadband standards, and promote job creation and economic growth in rural America.
To ensure farmers, teachers, small business owners, and all Americans can take advantage of our growing economy, we have delivered on our promise to provide regulatory relief that will support investment in our communities. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act allows community banks to get back to the business of banking, increasing the availability of financial products, and ensuring everyone has access to credit.
In addition to pro-growth economic policies, Congressional Republicans have taken various actions to ensure our communities and our nation stay safe. We have set out to hold our foes accountable, fix the critical readiness crisis and strengthen our armed forces, ensuring the United States military continues to lead well into the 21st century. This year’s National Defense Authorization Act will authorize an $80 billion increase in defense spending, including funding for troop readiness and a 2.6% pay raise for our troops, the largest increase since 2010.
We are also working to keep our communities safe and healthy by working to combat the opioid crisis. One in three Missouri families are affected by the opioid crisis and 115 Americans lose their lives to opioid overdoses each day. These statistics are as staggering as they are heartbreaking. We have taken major steps towards solving the epidemic. To date, House Republicans have passed more than 50 bills to combat the opioid crisis. However, our work is not yet done. We have a responsibility to get this problem under control, and I will continue to fight until we find a solution.
I look forward to seeing many of you around the district this coming month and learning more about your priorities. As your voice in Washington, I will continue to fight for the people of Missouri’s third district. Reflecting on the past two years, America has become a stronger, more confident nation with a booming economy. Working alongside my colleagues in Congress and under the leadership of President Trump, America is better off now and all signs point to continued success!