FreedomWorks on the SOTU: “Trump Has a Lot to be Proud of”

FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon issued the following statement after the conclusion of President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union Address:

“Despite congressional Democrats’ attempts to block most of his legislative agenda, President Trump has a lot to be proud of. Congress passed a historic tax bill, eliminated ObamaCare’s individual mandate, and the administration’s regulatory agenda has helped boost the economy after eight years of stagnant growth.”

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has already been a big success. As of today, at least 268 businesses have announced employee bonuses or boosted wages, in some cases both, and increased other forms of employee compensation, such as retirement plans. In many cases, these same businesses are announcing new investments in the American economy.”

“In Obama’s last year, the Federal Register, the best barometer we have to measure Washington’s regulatory aggression, was well over 95,000 pages long, the longest on record. In 2017, the Register was just under 62,000 pages, the shortest in nearly a quarter-century–with many of these pages actually devoted to deregulation and reforming agencies, a.k.a. ‘draining the swamp.’”

“All told, the Trump administration ushered the discontinuation and repeal of more than 1,600 rulemakings and existing regulations, reducing the economic burden of red tape by over half-a-billion dollars per year. Many of the companies making investment and wage increase promises following the passage of tax reform also credit a favorable regulatory outlook.”

“We look forward to learning more about President Trump’s infrastructure plan and reading the legislative text when it’s released. There’s no shortage of examples of past projects that have proven wasteful, such as the Atlanta and D.C. streetcars and the California high-speed rail proposal. We encourage the president to consider conservative proposals like the Transportation Empowerment Act as he approaches this topic.”

“We share the president’s enthusiasm to promote American-made products across the globe. We wish to emphasize that the administration’s achievements on tax and regulatory reform, combined with the forthcoming infrastructure plan, are all crucial elements of the only proven path to strengthening America’s international trade position. As we heard during the debate on tax reform, corporations don’t pay taxes; only consumers pay taxes. Tariffs are just another tax that people will have to pay at the point of sale. We urge the administration to renew the United States commitment to free trade.”

“We were pleased to hear criminal justice reform mentioned in the speech. This issue has been addressed by more than 30 governors and state legislatures, led by traditionally Republican states like Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas. The lack of action in Congress has been frustrating. We hope that in the coming weeks both chambers will move forward with reentry legislation like Rep. Doug Collins’ Prison Reform and Redemption Act that includes some sentencing reforms that have bipartisan support.”

“We were also very happy to hear the president give a ringing endorsement of ‘right to try,’ which allows terminally ill patients to access potentially life-saving treatments. The Senate has already passed legislation that promotes this policy. The House has yet to vote on Rep. Andy Biggs’ Right to Try Act. We urge Congress to immediately pass this bipartisan bill.”

“The president mentioned moving people from ‘welfare to work.’ This is a goal we strongly support. The administration has already taken some steps on this, but Congress must take action. We look forward to engaging on this issue, as we seek to deliver our economy to more Americans.”

“One thing we didn’t hear about tonight was the budget deficit. With the national debt now more than $20 trillion, and only projected to grow as America returns to $1 trillion budget deficits in only a few years, we need to begin to have a serious discussion about entitlement reform. This is an area where President Trump can provide leadership by urging Congress to act in a way that promotes economic growth and fiscal responsibility while still helping those in our society who need it.”