This week, the 115th Congress officially gaveled into session. With President-elect Trump soon to be inaugurated, my House Republican colleagues and I have been laying the groundwork for a historically productive first 100 days. Among our top priorities are defeating radical Islamic terrorism, repealing and replacing Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood, and making the tax code simpler and fairer for all Americans.
America has never before faced such varied threats, the most concerning of which is radical Islamic terrorism. Eight years of President Obama’s feckless foreign policy yielded few tangible victories over ISIS and continually minimized America’s standing in the world. This year, I will continue my work to defeat ISIS and other terrorists as Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, and working with President-elect Trump on strategies to put America back in a position of prudent leadership on the world stage.
Repealing and replacing Obamacare with patient-focused and market-driven solutions is another top priority. Every day I hear from constituents facing higher premiums, higher deductibles, and fewer choices. With each passing year of Obamacare, it becomes more and more clear that President Obama’s government takeover of the healthcare system does not work and is not sustainable. Our House Republican plan will provide patients with freedom of choice and lower costs while maintaining protections for those with preexisting conditions.
In addition to my efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, I have worked tirelessly to ensure Planned Parenthood no longer receives taxpayer funding. We are also working to enact the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would end the horrific practice of late-term dismemberment abortions, when innocent babies suffer excruciating pain as they are literally pulled apart piece by piece.
Another pro-life priority is making the “Hyde Amendment” permanent and government-wide law. The Hyde Amendment has saved an estimated 2 million innocent babies by stopping your tax dollars from being used to fund most abortions and abortion coverage through Medicaid. Among its many failures, Obamacare does not conform to the Hyde Amendment, meaning your tax dollars are flowing to health plans which cover abortion.
My House Republican colleagues and I are also working on a comprehensive overhaul of the tax code. The last time Washington made serious reforms to the tax code, Cyndi Lauper, Tina Turner and Janet Jackson were at the top of the music charts. Needless to say, it’s time for an update. Our plan centers on three principles: simplicity and fairness, jobs and economic growth, and a “service-first” IRS. With a new tax code built for growth, we can once again make America the best place in the world to hire and invest. In doing so, we promote growth in American jobs, wages and the economy.
As always, my number one priority is to provide you with exceptional constituent service. As your Congressman, my team and I are available to assist you with issues involving Social Security, Medicare, IRS, passports, Veterans benefits, FEMA and disaster recovery, agriculture, and other federal agencies. Should you need assistance or want to chat about current issues in Washington, please don’t hesitate to call, e-mail, write, or stop by one of my office locations.
To better serve Richmond County, I’ve assigned one of my most experienced staff members to provide Congressional office hours at Rockingham City Hall every Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. through noon (514 Rockingham Rd.). You’re also welcome to visit my Monroe Regional Office (100 West Jefferson St., Suite 1A in downtown Monroe) or call my staff at 704-917-9573 and we’ll arrange a meeting.
In November, the American people spoke loud and clear in favor of a new direction for our country. House Republicans have been preparing, and we are ready to deliver on a pro-growth, America First agenda in the first 100 days.
U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-Charlotte, represents North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, which includes Richmond County.