By Rep. Kristi Noem
We’re a little over six months into President Trump’s first term, and regardless of what national pundits might say, the House has been systematically ticking through a conservative, pro-growth agenda. Altogether, we’ve passed more than 250 bills, a handful of which have been proposals I wrote. President Trump has signed more than 40 of these bills into law – more so than many presidents at this point in their administration.
One of the largest areas of success – and least reported accomplishments – has been on the de-regulation front. Through the Congressional Review Act, Congress has the authority to repeal regulations. Prior to 2017, however, the provision had been used successfully just once. But this year, we’ve passed more than a dozen provisions under the Congressional Review Act that, when taken together, have saved hardworking Americans billions of dollars.
As we’ve reduced regulations and outlined pro-growth policies, the economy has reacted with hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Alongside economic development, I’ve fought for greater workforce development, helping the House pass the Strengthening Career and Technical Education Act, which would expand our commitments to vocational and technical education training.
At the same time, we’ve put America’s national security first. A year ago, we had an administration that prioritized climate change over terrorism and refused to call our enemies out for what they are: radical Islamic terrorists. Those attitudes have changed, as has our allocation of resources. Earlier this summer, for instance, I helped the House pass an annual defense bill that offered our troops a 2.4 percent pay raise (the biggest increase in eight years). The legislation also boosted end strength and provided needed aircraft, ships and systems. Additionally, we maintained the commitments made to our ally, Israel.
On the border, we’ve seen illegal crossings decrease by 60 percent. Much of this is due to a tougher U.S. stance. I was proud to help the House pass Kate’s Law, which created harsher penalties for those who repeatedly cross the border illegally. We also passed legislation to crack down on sanctuary cities by withholding certain federal grants. Moreover, I’m supporting another bill that would go even further, deploying additional personnel and new technologies to the border.
The House has also passed legislation to repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered solutions. We approved more than a dozen bills to combat human trafficking in our communities. We passed legislation offering the resources necessary to build a strong border wall, invest in our military, and stop the EPA’s controversial Waters of the U.S. rule. And we ok’d the bipartisan Presidential Library Donation Reform Act, which would help eliminate the secrecy surrounding some donations to organizations like the William J. Clinton Foundation.
Despite the House’s action on these items, the Senate has faced repeated delays and distractions from their Democratic colleagues, making similar progress difficult.
This isn’t to say the House doesn’t still have work to do. I continue to drive progress on reforming our tax system in a way that simplifies the code; promotes economic growth for businesses, families and individuals; and holds the IRS more accountable. I am working closely with the House Agriculture Committee to develop the next Farm Bill. I’m also working on legislation to combat poverty and promote financial independence and upward mobility, while fighting for fundamental changes to the way the Indian Health Service operates. We need to make progress on driving down spending and getting our budget on track as well.
But I am not about to slow down. We need to keep pushing forward.