January started with the inauguration of President Trump, ushering in a new era focused on making America great again.
In the year that was to follow, the U.S. House of Representatives passed more than 460 bills — far surpassing recent averages. More than 90 made it through the Senate and earned President Trump’s signature to become law. Among these were bills that repealed costly Obama-era regulations. One empowered states to defund Planned Parenthood. Another strengthened Second Amendment protections for those with disabilities. Another expanded whistleblower protections within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In October, the president signed a bill I wrote that increases and strengthens women’s participation in peace negotiations and conflict prevention.
The House has passed a series of bills to crack down on sanctuary cities and illegal immigration as well as legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. A bill to improve rural call quality was approved, as was legislation that, if enacted, would ensure those permitted to carry a concealed handgun would be able to bring it to other states that permit concealed carry.
The House-passed Working Families Flexibility Act would allow employers to give workers more flexibility in choosing between overtime pay and additional time off. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that we passed would ban abortion after 20 weeks. And the bipartisan Resilient Federal Forests Act would pair a responsible budget fix with forest management reforms to improve the health and resiliency of our forests.
We also passed the CUFF Act, which I introduced, would make sure wanted felons and parole violators would no longer have access to certain Social Security benefits. Another bill I introduced that would expand the Black Hills National Cemetery outside Sturgis passed the House. Tax reform has also steadily advanced throughout this time.
Last summer, I joined the House Agriculture Committee in a field hearing to discuss modifications needed for the Farm Bill. Additionally, I’ve introduced reforms I’d like to see included, such as legislation to improve the wetland determinations process, better ensure fair CRP rental payments, and expand sodsaver provisions. I’ve also put forward a bill to permanently allow the hay harvested on certain CRP acres to be donated to ranchers suffering from drought or fire.
Without question, the last 12 months have made for quite a year, but with the momentum in our direction, I’m excited for what 2018 will bring.