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Congressman Tim Walberg

Representing the 7th District of Michigan

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Jackson Cit Pat: Making progress on the people's priorities

August 7, 2017
Opinion Editorial

Finding a good-paying job, paying the mortgage, securing a better and healthier future for our family, keeping our country safe - these are the types of issues that keep Americans up at night.

Yet these issues, and the hard work we're doing in the House of Representatives to address them, are too often overlooked in favor of the latest cable news chatter.

You may not always hear about it, but the U.S. House of Representatives is off to a productive start, passing more than 269 bills so far this year.

Together with President Trump, we successfully rolled back 14 harmful regulations imposed during the Obama administration and took significant steps to protect workers, boost jobs, and grow the economy. By providing relief from excessive red tape, taxpayers will save an estimated $4.1 billion in regulations and 44.9 million hours of paperwork.

The President also signed into law landmark reforms to bring greater accountability and better care to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Too many veterans have been ill-served by the VA's entrenched culture problems and mismanagement, and these bipartisan reforms will help clean up the VA, usher in a new era of accountability and ensure our nation's heroes receive high quality care.

In another important victory for veterans, the House passed a sweeping expansion of the GI Bill to improve educational benefits and help servicemembers seamlessly transition into civilian life. Importantly, the legislation removes the 15-year limit to use the GI Bill and enables future eligible recipients to use their benefits at any point in their lives.

As the world grows increasingly dangerous, the House took bipartisan action to rebuild our military and improve readiness, strengthen sanctions to hold Iran, Russia, and North Korea accountable, and give our troops the biggest pay raise in eight years.

On health care, the House kept its promise and advanced patient-centered solutions to lower costs, increase choice and competition, and rescue families from a collapsing system. As premiums continue to skyrocket - despite the Senate's lack of progress - the need to fix the mess Obamacare created remains a priority.

Many other health care reforms advanced through the House this year, including a bill I helped author to empower small businesses to join together through association health plans to bring down costs for their workers.

Bipartisan reforms to the Food and Drug Administration also passed, which will speed up the approval process for life-saving drugs, foster greater competition, and ensure America remains on the forefront of medical innovation.

The House also approved numerous bills to bolster our response to the scourge of human trafficking and support victims of these violent crimes. Included in this legislative package was my bipartisan bill to enhance our ability to detect labor exploitation and provisions I championed to support the work of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

From Kate's Law to fighting the opioid epidemic to strengthening career and technical education, there are plenty of issue areas that we've made important progress on so far this year. I also recognize there is plenty more work ahead, including rebuilding our infrastructure and reforming our tax code to grow jobs and a healthy economy.

The House will remain focused on the issues that matter to you and your family, even if it doesn't always make the headlines.

- U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg represents the 7th Congressional District and is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Education and the Workforce Committee. This op-ed originally appeared in the August 6 edition of the Jackson Citizen Patriot.

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