Congressman Kevin Yoder, R-KS
Special to The Gardner News
Thanks to the will of the American people, last November the Republican
Party was entrusted with the majority in the United States Senate to go along with our majority in the United States House of Representatives held since 2010. Altogether, we have responded by being the most productive and bipartisan Congress in years.
At over halfway through the first year of the 114th Congress, both the House and the Senate Appropriations Committees have already finished consideration of all 12 annual appropriations bills. The federal government is appropriating less money today than it was when I walked into Congress five years ago, and these bills help us keep a lid on spending.
With our partners in the Senate Majority, we’ve passed the first ten-year, bicameral balanced budget agreement since 2001. When I ran for Congress in 2010, I ran on the principle that if families across Kansas and America have to balance their budgets, so should Washington. For the first time since my election, we’ve passed that budget.
We’ve sent more than two-dozen bills to the President’s desk that he’s already signed into law. Bills that will help prevent veterans’ suicides, prevent human trafficking, pave the way to American energy independence by building the Keystone XL Pipeline, and help put Americans back to work for the high-paying wages they’ve been demanding for years.
We’ve cut taxes by repealing the Obamacare medical device tax and the death tax. We’ve blocked Administration proposals to tax 529 college savings plans and 401(k) retirement savings accounts.
We’ve passed the first meaningful entitlement reform in decades, permanently addressing the cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates that would cripple doctors’ ability to treat seniors and saving taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars in long-term costs.
We’ve paved the way for opening foreign markets for Kansas farmers and local manufacturers by passing bipartisan trade negotiating legislation that gives Congress unprecedented oversight authority over any deal this Administration puts forth.
The House has passed overwhelmingly bipartisan legislation that takes an important step towards curing the over 10,000 known diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s that take the lives of our loved ones each and every day. The bill boosts funding at the National Institutes of Health and modernizes clinical trials to reduce the current 15-year waiting period for moving a new drug from the lab to the local pharmacy. But importantly, it also takes a step towards curing the disease that threatens to destroy our nation’s fiscal health: runaway entitlement spending.
In just a few short months, we’ve come a long way from the doldrums of governing with yesterday’s obstructionist Senate leadership. But we have a long way to go in repairing the wreckage left in the wake of this administration’s policies that value central planners in Washington over everyday, hardworking Americans.
Your priorities are my priorities. I will continue to be your voice in Washington as the 114th Congress unfolds and I look forward to continuing to make progress toward a brighter future for all of the American people.