Just one year after taking office, President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package Trump calls Milley a 'f---ing idiot' over Afghanistan withdrawal First rally for far-right French candidate Zemmour prompts protests, violence MORE will deliver his first official State of the Union address to Congress and the American people. He should be proud to report that the State of Our Union is Great Again.
As soon as the president was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2017, his administration hit the ground running and began tackling his bold campaign promises – tax reform, regulatory reform and bolstering our military, to name a few.
Today, one year later, I am pleased that our president has delivered on those promises and then some.
I have the great privilege of serving the 8th District of Tennessee, a 15-county region made up of both rural and urban communities in the Mid-South. As I travel throughout my district and talk with West Tennesseans from all walks of life, I hear more and more confidence in our economy.
One month ago, we passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, reforming our tax code for the first time in 31 years. Americans at every income level received a tax cut. This means that hardworking West Tennesseans across the 8th District will see more money in their paychecks each month to spend how they choose.
We also lowered the corporate tax rate so that American workers and businesses can be competitive again.
More than 250 companies have already offered their employees bonuses, higher salaries or 401(k) match increases. Many of these companies are major employers in my district: FedEx, First Citizens Bank, Apple, Regions Bank, American Airlines, First Horizon National Corporation, Home Depot, Walmart, Starbucks and many more. The list truly goes on and on.
It was announced last week that more than 3 million Americans will receive a bonus as a result of tax reform.
I expected good news to follow tax cuts, but the response from American businesses has been remarkable. The passage of historic, comprehensive tax reform was a success that will have a lasting impact on American economic opportunity for generations to come.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor released its December Jobs Report, which showed strong growth for the entire year of 2017.
In the last year, the U.S. economy added more than 2 million jobs, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.1 percent, which is a 17-year low. The stock market reached an all-time record high, with the Dow exceeding 26,000 for the first time in history.
Through tax reform, we also repealed the ObamaCare individual mandate – an unnecessary and burdensome tax that hurt lower- and middle-income Americans the most. Now, no one will be forced to buy health insurance that they do not want or need.
Over the past decade, our small businesses and financial institutions have been crippled by over-regulation and Washington overreach. When President Trump entered office, he declared that for every new regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated. Well, we have surpassed the president’s benchmark, undoing 22 regulatory actions for every new regulation imposed in 2017. In just one year, we have cut or delayed more than 1,500 regulations, keeping our promise to the American people.
Another promise kept by President Trump is the strengthening of our national security strategy and support for our men and women in uniform.
Early in President Trump’s first year, he directed the modernization of our military and issued a new national security strategy to keep Americans safe. He refocused on our military efforts in Afghanistan and declared that the United States would no longer set arbitrary timetables for troop removal. Rather than fighting to avoid defeat, the Trump administration is seeking victory.
Working together, the Trump administration and Congress issued new, tougher sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia – three oppressive regimes that continue to threaten stability in their regions and American national security interests.
When Syrian Dictator Bashar al-Assad committed heinous crimes against his own people, President Trump showed strength and ordered missile strikes to counter the regime’s brutality. In 2017, our troops reclaimed almost all of the land that ISIS had seized in Syria and Iraq, significantly weakening the terrorist group.
The president and Congress have also taken major steps to advance medical care for our veterans by improving conditions and increasing accountability at VA hospitals.
Perhaps the most lasting positive impact the Trump administration will have is on our federal court system. In 2017, President Trump filled more than 20 vacant judgeships and appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court.
When President Trump addressed Congress one year ago, he made promises to the American people, and in 2017, he kept those promises. Tonight, I look forward to hearing how the president plans to build on our success and continue to revive the American spirit.
Kustoff represents Tennessee’s 8th District.