Four common themes dominated the presentations made by the nine Republican and three Democratic members of Congress who spoke to the North Texas Commission (NTC) Delegation to Washington.
- Under the Trump administration, the economy has improved, unemployment lowered, funding for the military restored and the courts stocked with conservative jurists who will interpret the constitution literally, not creatively.
- The political culture in Washington is broken and needs to change. Working across the aisle is the way to get things done.
- Our shortage of skilled workers is damaging our ability to grow.
- The tariff-driven trade war is bad for Texas, and USMCA needs to be passed quickly.
The members were asked to speak on what they thought was important, and it was striking that only Congressman Roger Williams mentioned the increasing deficit and looming entitlements crisis. It is ironic that he started his remarks praising the tax cut which has more than doubled the rate of increase in the national debt.
An undercurrent of every presentation seemed to be that the move to impeachment in the House and party politics are causing a halt in productive work in both chambers. One member suggested that if we could put the leadership of both chambers on a cruise ship for 10 days with no connection to the outside world, we could finish most of what needs to be accomplished.
Chris Lamond of Thorn Run Partners, the NTC lobbyist in DC, summarized the two days with some encouragement. Despite the “nothing is happening” tone delivered by the members of Congress, much is actually happening. He cited 10 examples of legislation that has or is very likely to pass this year:
- USMCA will pass both chambers
- There will be bills to actually end robocalls and surprise billing
- There will be progress on drug pricing
- The Secure Act which improves retirement programs will pass
- The government will be funded and will not shut down
- A Highway Bill will pass
- Flood Insurance will be extended
- Banks will be authorized to deal with cannabis companies
- The Ex-Im Bank will be reauthorized
- The age for tobacco will be raised to 21
- Legislation to improve treatment of autism will pass
Summary of the remarks of each presenting member of congress COMING SOON.