2017 has been a long and newsworthy year. Let’s reflect back on 10 things the GOP accomplished in this year.
This year, Senate Republicans confirmed President Donald Trump’s appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Doing so continues the tradition of Originalism left by Justice Scalia ensuring that our constitution remains protected. Since Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life, this is an accomplishment that will leave a legacy for decades. Justice Gorsuch had the opportunity to sit on the bench to hear cases such as Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris. These are just two examples of pivotal cases that will impact the American way of life for years to come.
Further appointments to the Judicial Branch
In addition to appointing Neil Gorsuch, Republicans have also worked to appoint and confirm other judges to appellate level positions in federal government. They were able to confirm 12 judges. This was the highest amount of appellate judges to be confirmed within a president’s first year in history. By strengthening the judicial branch with more judges willing to defend the Constitution, Americans will surely see these impacts in everyday life.
Looking forward to move beyond Obamacare
Also known as Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act has caused premiums to rise. It also forced Americans to buy plans they may not need or may not be able to afford. It has left them with few options for healthcare that may not meet their needs. All in all, the system has been a disaster. Even if Republicans weren’t able to get a solution through both the House and Senate, they’ve done more than Democrats have ever thought about doing to repair the damage left by Obamacare.
Improvements for the care of veterans
2017 also brought improvements in the VA system to support those who have served our country. After years of our veterans receiving less than the best, it is comforting to know that improvements have begun. Republicans have passed legislation that makes it easier to hold those accountable who may not have been giving veterans that standard of care that they deserve, protects whistle-blowers, and allows the VA Secretary to appoint permanent medical directors to VA facilities. In addition, Republicans have also worked to ensure that benefits from the GI bill will no longer have a 15-year time limit and that veterans and the military will have enough funding moving forward.
In December of this year, Republicans celebrated passing tax reform through the House and the Senate. President Trump made it official when he signed the bill into law. Through this accomplishment over 80% of Americans will see a decrease in their taxes. This legislation also ensures that corporations are able to compete on the world stage. It effectively creates an environment where American business is able to flourish. Tax reform goes one step further to remove the Obamacare mandate, allowing Americans to opt out. Following the passage of tax reform, we’ve seen businesses announcing bonuses for employees, new investments, and thousands of jobs being created.
Removing regulatory burden
Also in 2017, we’ve seen Republicans begin peel back years of regulatory burden placed upon Americans. President Trump signed an executive order in January requiring agencies to remove two regulations for every new regulation that is implemented. According to President Trump, the administration has actually removed 22 regulations for every new regulation that has been implemented. In December, President Trump literally cut the red tape between the amount of regulations that were in place during 1960 to today. It displayed the over six-foot-tall stack of papers that represent the amount of regulations that are currently in place.
Standing with Israel
For decades, Presidents have declared that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Now, the United States has formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by moving our embassy to Jerusalem. This move strengthens the United States’ commitment to supporting Israel. Even though many nations believed that they had some sort of say where the United States puts its Embassy in Israel, Ambassador Nikki Haley and President Donald Trump have stood by their decision. In addition, more than 10 countries are also considering moving their own embassies to Jerusalem.