QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER FROM AMERICAN FREEDOM BUILDERS
With the inauguration of President Trump and his cabinet appointments, American Freedom Builders has had a great start to the year and we’re looking forward to even greater success in 2017.
You can count on American Freedom Builders to lead on important issues like repealing Obamacare and appointing conservatives to the Supreme Court. We’ll continue to advocate for limited government issues and to advance the causes that conservatives care about.
We’ll be ramping up our digital and social media efforts in 2017. As we host events or provide updates on issues, we’ll post them on our website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in the conversation with us by liking us on Facebook or by following us on Twitter.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON
The unexpected election of President Trump changed the whole governing calculus in Washington. In addition to winning the Presidency, Republicans held onto a narrow majority in the Senate and kept a sizeable majority in the House. This gives Republicans full control in Washington.
With Republicans in control of the House and Senate, Congress is now expected to work with the Trump administration to reduce burdensome regulations from the Obama era and move long-stalled, legislative initiatives to repeal Obamacare and generally reduce the size of the Federal government.
Here’s are highlights from some of the key moments over the last 3 months since President Trump was sworn in as our 45th President.
- Judge Neil Gorsuch Confirmation – In a much anticipated prime-time ceremony at the White House, President Trump nominated Federal Appeals Court Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Since that night, Judge Gorsuch has participated in 72 meetings with individual Senators who will vote on his nomination. He has generally been given high marks for how he has handled himself in the lead up to his confirmation hearings scheduled for the week of March 20th.
- President Trump’s Cabinet Confirmations – There are 22 Cabinet positions that require Senate confirmation. As of this writing, 18 of the 22 have been confirmed. With the exception of the Education Secretary’s confirmation, which required a tie vote by the Vice President, all cabinet members sailed through Senate confirmation. The remaining cabinet positions are currently working through Senate committees.
- Fight to Repeal Obamacare – Earlier this month, House Republicans introduced a bill to repeal various parts of Obamacare and set up a new health care plan. Trump immediately endorsed the plan. House Freedom Caucus members and several Key Senate conservatives have refused to endorse the plan calling it “Obamacare lite.” Just this week, the Congressional Budget Office scored the Republican plan and said that while the plan would reduce the deficit, it would also push 24 million recipients of the healthcare rolls. Look for President Trump to barnstorm the country in support of repealing Obamacare; the fight is likely to rage on for several months until Republicans can hammer out a compromise.
- Rolling Back Obama Era Regulations on Energy – President Trump promised to roll back “job-killing” regulations on energy within his first 100 days in office. Now the House and Senate are following his leadership and have begun passing resolutions to roll back Obama regulations on Energy. Look for this congressional tag-teaming with the President – and with Secretary Perry at Department of Energy and Scott Pruitt at EPA – to significantly alter the direction of Energy policy in this country to a pro-consumer, pro-Energy Independence shift.
- Taming the Department of Education – With President Trump’s nomination of long time School Choice advocate Betsy DeVos now confirmed as Secretary of Education, we anticipate a fierce clash of wills between the DOE Educrats and President Trump and his Education Secretary. In his recent address to Congress, President Trump proposed ramping up federal spending on School Choice programs by 20 billion dollars. His initial budget proposal provided 1.9 billion dollars with a pledge to eventually reach the full amount of 20 billion dollars.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN KEY LEGISLATURES AROUND THE COUNTRY
Given the Trump administration’s bias to push power down to the states, there will be a lot of action at the state level this legislative cycle.
Here are just a few of the issues we’ll be watching in the coming months
School Choice Expansion – so far in the 2017 legislative sessions, 31 states have bills introduced that push public education funds to private or charter schools. Twenty-two of these state proposals include tax credit scholarships. Based on the partisan composition and the fervor of the debate, the states with the likelihood of school choice expansion are Arizona, Missouri, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Indiana and Texas.
Raising Gas Taxes to Improve Infrastructure – The Trump Administration is formulating a trillion dollar infrastructure bill that could jump start construction projects around the country. According to CQ Roll Call, “of 20 states that haven’t raised gas taxes in more than a decade, at least 12 will consider doing so in 2017. All acknowledge the need for infrastructure investment, but paying the bill will foster contention among opposing advocacy groups.”
Gun Ownership vs. Gun Control – With the election of Trump and expansion of Republican-controlled legislatures, the NRA and Gun owners groups are making a major push to protect gun rights
A State Compact to Fight Opioid Addiction – Last July, 45 Governors signed a state compact to fight opioid addiction by monitoring healthcare professional’s prescription standards and increasing access to healthcare programs available through Medicare. Because of the bi-partisan support for this initiative, you can expect a wave of legislative proposals to be introduced in State Legislatures.
We Want to Hear from You!
Thanks for taking the time to read our quarterly newsletter. As always, we would love to have your feedback. How can we improve the quality of our content in our newsletter and on our website, Facebook and Twitter platforms?
Please leave a comment below on how we can improve the quality of this newsletter.
Don’t forget, we’ll be posting regularly so like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.