Optimistic about the future

America can once again be optimistic.

We’ve experienced an incredible year. President Trump, working with me and my House Republican colleagues, is delivering on his promise to Make America Great Again. Our economy is booming, ISIS is on the run, Obamacare’s individual mandate has been abolished, and the American people once again have reason to be confident about the future.

This past year, I worked with President Trump to deliver the biggest, most comprehensive tax overhaul in a generation. The impact has been swift. By making our corporate tax rate competitive, businesses of all sizes have begun reinvesting in America and our tremendous American workers. Apple will reinvest $350 billion into our economy. ExxonMobil will reinvest $50 billion. Major North Carolina employers, including Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, American Airlines, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, Bank of America, and SteelFab have announced employee bonuses, wage hikes, or both.

Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, over 90% of Americans will see their tax rate decrease. That means more money in your paycheck starting this month as the IRS and your employer adjust withholdings. A typical family of four will save over $2,000 on taxes. To Nancy Pelosi, these tax reform benefits are “crumbs.” To hardworking North Carolinians, it’s real money that will make a difference.

The broader macroeconomic response to our conservative, pro-growth policies has been unprecedented. The stock market is smashing record after record. For the first time ever, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by over 5,000 points in a single year. More than 1.7 million new jobs have been created and unemployment sunk to 4.1 percent, a 17-year low. America is back. And we are just getting started.

On the world stage, President Trump has embraced Ronald Reagan’s incredibly successful strategy of “peace through strength.” He has reversed the feckless policies of the Obama Administration and reasserted America’s leadership around the world. Bad actors and tyrants have been put on notice.

Terrorism remains a grave threat to America’s national security. As Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism, I have been working with the Trump Administration, national security leadership, and Members of Parliament from around the world to target sources of terrorism funding and strengthen efforts to defeat the growing nexus of radical Islamic terrorists and Latin American drug lords. Thanks to President Trump’s bold leadership and the efforts of our brave soldiers, ISIS has been decimated, losing almost all of its territory.

Part of Making America Great Again includes reaffirming the value of every human life. Working with President Trump, we have passed and signed into law legislation allowing states to defund Planned Parenthood. President Trump took action to appoint pro-life judges, revoke President Obama’s policy requiring religious organizations to provide abortion coverage, and reinstate federal policy blocking your tax dollars from being used for abortions overseas. As well, I introduced and have now secured over 100 co-sponsors for legislation blocking Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from accessing tax-exempt bonds for construction of abortion clinics.

This past Tuesday, in his first State of the Union address, President Trump outlined a vision for a safe, strong, and prosperous America. That vision is built on the foundation of a long and diverse list of first-year achievements. From historic tax cuts to common sense regulatory reform, American energy independence to the reaffirmation of individual liberty, 2017 was a turning point for America.

However, we must not forget there is still much work to be done. In the coming months, I look forward to working with President Trump and my conservative colleagues in Congress to secure our borders, pass landmark foreign investment reform, rebuild our infrastructure, and take additional action on the opioid crisis.

Americans of all walks of life can be optimistic for what the future might hold. As we begin 2018, I pray we can all come together and work to create a safer, stronger, and more prosperous America.

Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) is Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, and serves on the House Financial Services Committee, with a special focus on supporting small businesses, community banks, and credit unions.

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