President Trump worked hard over the last three years to deliver on his promises, and it was a privilege to hear his 2020 agenda at the State of the Union.
I support our president’s vision for the country. His leadership is transforming our economy, our military and the care we give our veterans. No president has ever been more supportive of our veterans than President Trump and because of his dedication, we enacted reforms that expand access to care; brought back accountability to the VA; expanded GI benefits; and enabled our Blue Water Navy Veterans eligibility for new benefits.
Under this administration, we have the strongest economy in my lifetime. The strength is thanks to President Trump working with Congress to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and his continued efforts to cut red tape and regulations that harm businesses and our overall economy.
Tennesseans are seeing a 50-year low in the unemployment rate; a median household income up five percent; and 152,000 jobs created in the last three years. To further our economic success, this president has prioritized negotiating fairer trade deals for America and had huge wins last month with the passage of our new agreement with Canada, Mexico and the signing of a new Phase 1 agreement with China. I look forward to seeing how these trade deals help Tennessee businesses, farmers and families.
In his speech, the president called on Congress to pass legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs an issue that can, and should, be resolved in a bipartisan fashion. Last year, House Democrats passed a partisan bill that would give government bureaucrats the power to set drug prices resulting in 100 fewer cures coming to market in the next decade.
Republicans and Democrats should heed the president’s call and work together to lower the cost of prescription drugs without stifling innovation. We also need to address the problem of surprise medical billing. Both the House and Senate made great bipartisan progress on this issue last year, but there is work yet to be done. Eliminating these bills is an issue on which Democrats and Republicans found common ground, and I hope we can get legislation that protects patients and fairly resolves the resulting bill across the finish line.
President Trump also shared the importance of protecting Americans abroad. He has repeatedly shown strength when needed and restraint when warranted in his foreign policy. Iran is a great example. President Trump pulled out of the incredibly flawed Iran Nuclear Deal, and Iran showed their true colors over the ensuing months by working to destabilize the Middle East. President Trump responded with the targeted removal of General Qasem Soleimani – a man who has directed the killings of hundreds of Americans.
It was an incredibly powerful moment in the speech when President Trump asked the widow of a servicemember killed at the direction of Soleimani to stand and be recognized. I am glad President Trump showed great restraint throughout the escalation by Iran, even stating the U.S. was willing to “embrace peace.” We must continue to support the president’s anti-terror push, especially when tensions run high.
Ensuring the safety of Americans also applies at home. Whether it requires building a physical barrier at our southern border or eliminating sanctuary cities, national security is a top priority of the president, and I fully support his efforts. Sanctuary cities flaunt our immigration laws. We need to enforce our immigration laws and make commonsense reforms to the system. We are a sovereign nation with borders, and I will support the president in ensuring we stay that way.
The president’s speech also came at a critical time this year, at the end of the Senate impeachment trial. Even though House Democrats put all their effort into impeaching President Trump – without evidence a crime was committed – he rose above the trial and encouraged both parties to work together to pass critical legislation in the coming year.
I hope House Democrats can move past their political charade and work with the president and Republicans to help the American people.
I am ready to work this year to protect our communities, lower drug costs, end surprise medical billing and achieve the great vision our President has for this nation.