Jan. 20, 2017, marked a new beginning in our country. On that day, President Donald Trump was inaugurated and immediately began working to restore integrity and meaning to our Constitution, to rule of law, and to turning our economy around. With a focus on individual choice, freedoms and the rights upon which this country was founded, over the last 12 months I have worked alongside our President to once again make this country great. ‎As I sat outside the Capitol and watched our new President taking the oath of office last January, I knew it was no longer going to be business as usual in Washington –– exactly the type of change which was needed and exactly the change which millions of Americans had rightfully called for.

When I look back on the past year, I see a booming economy, millions of new jobs, ISIS on the run, the biggest pay raise for our troops in 8 years, and a record number of conservative pro-life judges appointed to the courts –– including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. We have also seen historic middle income tax cuts with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Obamacare’s individual mandate repealed, and droves of Obama-era regulations removed. In fact, for every new regulation, we have repealed 22 old regulations, saving taxpayers more than 8 billion dollars.

Under President Trump’s leadership, we have lowered Missourians’ electric bills by relying on our country’s own natural resources, opening up parts of Alaska to energy exploration, and approving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. The EPA is no longer a job-killing factory piling on rules and regulations left and right. President Trump’s EPA has taken my recommendation to get rid of WOTUS, which tried to regulate every drop of water on Missourians’ land. The EPA also adopted my proposal to stop the harmful “sue and settle” practice, a massive loophole that allowed radical groups to sue the government and get taxpayer money through closed-door, out of court agreements.

Despite a total lack of support from obstructionists on both sides of the aisle, President Trump and Congress still managed to overcome historic obstacles to achieve major accomplishments in 2017. Unfortunately, some decided to waste their time and taxpayer dollars to try and tear President Trump down through lies, misinformation and even an embarrassing effort to try and impeach the President that was supported by members of the Democrat Leadership. As we worked to cut taxes, repeal Obamacare and defund sanctuary cities, the left threw up road blocks at every turn. As of mid-December, 477 bills had passed the House of Representatives while 378 of those were stuck in the Senate. Included in those efforts was a full repeal and replacement of the government takeover of healthcare, ‎further proposals to lower energy prices, measures to prevent taxpayer dollars from going to abortion providers, protections for your second amendment rights and legislation to provide for full funding of the children’s health program known as S-CHIP – all proposals passed by the House of Representatives, but blocked from reaching President Trump’s desk by Senate obstructionism.

Whether we are making our country safer by ending chain migration, defunding sanctuary cities like San Francisco that harbor illegal immigrants, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, changing our federal welfare system from a hand-out to a hand-up, or creating more healthcare choice and competition by getting the government out of the business of health insurance, there is plenty of work to get done together. As we look to 2018, I hope obstructionists in Congress will learn to work with their colleagues and the Trump Administration so we can continue to improve the lives and freedoms of hardworking folks in Missouri and across the country. ‎

We are just getting started in our efforts to restore this nation to what it was intended to be, and while I am proud of the work thus far, I remain mindful, committed and invigorated to meet the challenges and fights which lie ahead.

Jason Smith represents Missouri’s 8th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. Contact him at 573-335-0101 or visit https://jasonsmith.house.gov

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