Barletta Applauds President Trump’s Vision for America

Jan 30, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) released the following statement after President Donald J. Trump delivered his first State of the Union address:

“A year ago, President Trump took the helm of a country looking for direction.  Divided for years by politicians pitting Americans against Americans, the old system of Washington first policies put wealth and opportunity out of reach for every day Americans.  The American people for too long have been led by politicians who hold special interest over national interest. 

“After President Trump’s first year in office, the unique optimism of the American people has returned, and returned at historic highs.  The Dow’s 31 percent gain during his first year in office has been the fastest growth since FDR, adding trillions in value for the pensions and retirement accounts of regular Americans.  Companies are again investing in American workers and American capital.  The economy has been primed for success by a president who is working first and foremost for the American people.

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will be the jet fuel to the American economic engine.  Even before passage of this historic legislation, the markets were brimming with optimism.  After passage, companies across America announced new investments in their employees and capital.  Over three million workers so far are already receiving bonuses, higher wages, and new hires as a result of this historic tax rewrite.  Apple, for example, has announced over $350 billion in investments in America.

“My guest for the State of the Union this year is John Dowd, the president of Sundance Vacations in Wilkes-Barre.  John recently announced bonuses for his employees due to the positive effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  He said, ‘additional take home pay for many Americans will likely lead to robust vacation sales for the company this year.’  Americans across the country are seeing more money in their paychecks, and more opportunity for job creation and wage growth.  It will continue to be a resounding success for the American people.

“American workers have a representative in the White House who understands the devastating effects of illegal, low-skilled immigration.  By directing resources and attention to border security and employment enforcement, President Trump has reasserted the rule of law.  He has pushed the immigration debate to the forefront.  My position has always been consistent: any solution must end the problem.  Security first.

“The agenda is simple: Make America Great Again.  With President Trump in the White House, Congress has been able to pass historic legislation like the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, repeal suffocating regulations, and confirm an exceptional justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch.  By providing more freedom and opportunity for every American to take control over their own life, the State of the Union in 2018 is one of renewed optimism.

“President Trump has made American energy dominance a priority of the Make America Great Again agenda.  Pennsylvania is a key to this dominance.  Pennsylvania is the third largest producer of coal and the second largest producer of natural gas.  These resources are critical to competing against global adversaries and supporting our allies.  One study conducted by the Trump Administration showed significant concentrations of Rare Earth Elements in Pennsylvania Anthracite coal and coal waste products. 

"These critical minerals are essential in manufacturing everything from high-tech defense weapons to cell phones.  America relies on China for 100 percent of the Rare Earth Elements that we use.  President Trump has identified this as a serious threat to the high-tech supply chain, and is taking steps to find new sources.  I believe Pennsylvania can be a major player in this field.  This creates a new market for Pennsylvania coal, as well as new economic incentives for reclamation projects to clean up coal waste.

“Being a parent should not be an impediment to career growth and opportunity.  It’s time we take initiative to change this dynamic, and I was happy to hear President Trump identify paid family leave as a priority of his Administration.  Through smart, measured reforms, we can give women and men in the U.S. workforce the opportunity to be active in their parental roles without forcing them to neglect their professional goals.  I look forward to working with President Trump to help millions of American families find a solution.

“Opioid abuse continues to plague our nation, with Pennsylvania being one of the states hardest hit.  The reality is that every community across the country is touched by this epidemic.  As a conferee during discussions over the Comprehensive Recovery and Addiction Act, I have worked across the aisle on this issue, and know that President Trump will continue this effort to find solutions for those individuals, and their families, struggling with addiction.  Congress must work closely with the Administration to improve government response to this sweeping crisis. 

“The burden of overregulation contributed greatly to the stagnation of the American economy during the last administration.  President Trump has streamlined and rolled back red tape to relieve businesses and workers of this economic burden.  Under the Trump Administration, thousands of onerous federal regulations have been scrapped or reformed.  By reducing the power of unelected bureaucrats, the economy has responded with confidence, something not seen after the historically low growth of the last administration.

“Americans rightfully have immense pride for their country.  From the ground up, we have built the freest nation in history, where opportunity is open to all who reach to seize it.  The State of our Union in 2018 is one in which the American people seized back control from an elite and established few.  Governments derive their power from the consent of the governed.  President Trump has overturned the top-down Washington first policies of the past creating optimism and opportunity for every American citizen.”