Weekly Columns

Finishing 2017 Strong

f t # e
Washington, November 29, 2017 | Lani Short (202-225-6356) | comments

This week, Congress returned to Washington with a full to-do list after spending time with family and friends over Thanksgiving. While there is a lot on our plate, I’m confident we can work together to get the results the American people deserve.

This week, the Senate is expected to consider their tax reform bill, and I am very hopeful we will soon be able to begin the process of reconciling our two bills to deliver on one of President Trump’s most important agenda items. Tax reform will help East Tennesseans tremendously. In fact, the Chamber of Commerce estimates that roughly 19,000 more full-time equivalent jobs will be added in Tennessee as a direct result of reforming our complicated tax code. Most East Tennessee families of four are projected to see more than $1,000 in tax cuts, and single filers will receive a tax cut of over $900. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and I look forward to the Senate passing a bill so the House and Senate can meet in a conference committee to iron out differences and send a tax relief package to President Trump’s desk.

The Senate’s version of tax reform is expected to include a repeal of the individual mandate penalty, which would make it impossible for the government to force individuals and families to purchase insurance policies. Repealing the mandate will bring choice back to our health care system and protect those struggling under Obamacare. With year-after-year of significant premium increases, it’s clear that Tennessee families would benefit by having the right to choose for themselves what insurance coverage works best for them and their families without the worry of government interference.

Also on Congress’ agenda this month is legislation to continue funding the government. As President Trump rightly noted, the last thing we want to do is not fund our military operations while North Korea is acting erratically and threatening global stability with Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. In addition to funding the government, Congress must act to preserve veterans’ health care options in the community as the Choice Program is projected to run out of money soon. 

President Trump’s agenda includes securing our border and protecting our nation; putting forward policies that will foster economic growth and job creation, such as comprehensive tax reform and providing relief from burdensome regulations; providing relief from Obamacare by repealing it and replacing it with patient-centered reforms; funding our military; and working to make the Department of Veterans Affairs a place where our heroes can access the services they’ve earned – just to name a few. I’m proud we’ve already made major progress toward these goals, as the House has passed legislation to support every pillar of the president’s agenda, but I expect we will able to report additional progress by the end of the year.

While there is much work ahead, I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress and the Trump administration to make this country the best that it can be.

Feel free to contact my office if I can be of assistance to you or your family.

f t # e