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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

A Productive Year

January 1, 2018
Weekly Columns
When the year 2017 began, Congress opened the new Congressional Session with the Trump Administration to “Make America Great Again.” As the year comes to a close, Congress and the Trump Administration can be proud of what they have accomplished together. Under its first year with President Trump, Congress has accomplished many of its legislative goals, and the President has fulfilled a number of his campaign promises. Although there is much work to be done in the coming year, we can reflect on this year’s legislative accomplishments with a sense of success.
 
In February, President Trump held the important responsibility of nominating a new Justice to the Supreme Court. Justice Neal Gorsuch was an excellent choice, having a solid conservative ideology and strong support across the judicial spectrum. Additionally, unlike many presidents before him, President Trump has built an impressive record of judicial appointments with 73 federal judge nominations accrued with 22 confirmations already.
 
One of the major initiatives under President Trump’s first year with Congress has been the very successful work to deregulate harmful government regulations and Obama-era federal rules. In this year alone, the President has signed over 15 Congressional Review Act resolutions into law, ending the many acts of bureaucratic red-tape practices that have hindered thousands of workers, slowed industrial growth and hampered American ingenuity. No president before this Administration has moved deregulation so well, and I look forward to continuing to make our federal agencies friendlier to the American worker and consumer.
 
On national security, Congress has had the welcome opportunity to push forward increased national defense spending to return our military back to its highest readiness levels. With the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, which is now signed into law, our national defense forces will be modernized and strengthened to support machinery and equipment, overseas projects, wellbeing of our troops and their families, and increased troop numbers. As the threat of our adversaries across the globe evolve, we should be confident going forward that our national security will return to its strongest state in many years.
 
Among the many other accomplishments that have happened this year, the biggest one was the passage of tax reform – a historic feat that has been 31 years in the making. And as the nation has seen since its passage, it will certainly deliver economic growth with corporations investing back into our economy and moving back to the United States. The benefits that the new tax code will bring are bound to help millions of Americans – from the middle class worker to the single parent to the entry level graduate – save thousands of dollars in the coming year and thereafter.
 
For the first time since 2007, the same party holds the Senate, House and the Executive Branch. This unified front has allowed Congress and the Trump Administration to work together and push forward policies that will benefit Americans in the long term. In the next year, there are multiple items on the agenda that need to be accomplished. We will need to look at creating a stronger immigration system that will support millions of children who came to this country without any fault of their own. We will need to revisit the healthcare debate to help the many Americans who are desperate for better coverage and more affordable plans. And most importantly, we will need to return to regular order to pass appropriations measures in a timely manner to continue fully funding the government. There is a lot of work to be done in the next year. But this year has proven to be a productive one, and the movement to put the American people first and to make America great again should continue into 2018.