FIRST 100 DAYS ACCOMPLISHMENTS; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 72
(House of Representatives - April 27, 2017)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.


[Pages H2927-H2930]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                     FIRST 100 DAYS ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2017, the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Woodall) is recognized 
for the remainder of the hour as the designee of the majority leader.
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate you yielding and being willing 
to stick around with me this afternoon. I have a great pleasure this 
afternoon, and that is to talk about successes that we have had 
together.
  I was down on the floor earlier when we were debating the rule, and I 
was talking to my Democratic colleagues on the Rules Committee about 
the good work that was going on in the Rules Committee; the good work 
that was going on on the House floor. In fact, we brought the bill--it 
was a raucous debate, Mr. Speaker. You will remember it. We argued for 
an hour about all sorts of extraneous things, then we brought the bill 
down, and it passed, I believe unanimously, here on the floor of the 
House just a few minutes ago.
  I don't understand that. I just don't understand what those drivers 
are in politics, Mr. Speaker, that encourages us to tear folks down 
instead of build folks up. And that is why I want to talk about some 
successes today. You can't see my slides, Mr. Speaker, but I have got 
some numbers written down to the left in red, and those are the numbers 
that are worth paying attention to.
  Twenty-eight. Twenty-eight is the number of bills President Trump has 
signed into law in his first 100 days; 28. That is more bills signed 
into law than any other American President since Harry Truman.
  More bills. Now, I read the same newspapers you read, Mr. Speaker. I 
listen to the same news broadcasts you listen to. I hear folks talk 
about inaction. I hear folks talk about confusion. I hear folks talk 
about division. I don't

[[Page H2928]]

hear folks talking about success, and success is what marks these first 
100 days.
  Again, there has been more legislative activity than any other 
President and Congress--collaboratively Congress, House, Senate, 
Republicans, Democrats--more legislative success than we have had in 
any Congress and White House combination since Harry Truman.
  Mr. Speaker, we had the first Supreme Court confirmation in the first 
100 days since 1881--since 1881. Now, it is with no joy that I share 
with you that the Supreme Court is such a powerful institution, Mr. 
Speaker. I think too often we fail to get the job done legislatively, 
and the Court steps in and legislates from right across the street. 
That wasn't the job the Constitution envisioned. That wasn't the job 
assigned in Article III, but it is the job that has been taken on by 
default. So it has become increasingly important that we make sure the 
Court is staffed.
  I supported the Senate having hearings on the Garland nomination last 
cycle. I supported the Senate having hearings on the Gorsuch nomination 
this cycle. Decision after decision in the last session went 4-4, which 
meant we could sustain the underlying Court's decision, but we couldn't 
decide these important questions that were still a source of confusion 
across this country. We now have a fully staffed Supreme Court again--
the first time since 1881. We have seen a Supreme Court confirmation in 
the first 100 days of a new administration.
  Seventeen, Mr. Speaker. It has been 17 years since illegal border 
crossings reached this low level. I am going to come back to that. But 
what I am saying is that words matter. And what the President has said 
is: we are going to grow the most robust economy the world has ever 
seen, but we are going to do it with a legal visa program that makes 
sure folks are coming and going in accordance with U.S. law. And simply 
that change in attitude, Mr. Speaker, simply that change in 
attitude from ``we are going to ignore the law'' to ``the law matters'' 
has brought illegal crossings down to a 17-year low.

  Mr. Speaker, 728; that is the number of millions of dollars saved 
with the President's first foray into cutting Federal budgets. His 
first foray into cutting Federal budgets, he started taking a look at 
Federal contracts. Can you imagine, Mr. Speaker, what it is like to be 
a new President of the United States, particularly one that doesn't 
come out of a legislative or government tradition? Everything is new as 
it comes to the content, but what is not new is so much of the process.
  The President has been looking at contracts his entire life, Mr. 
Speaker. The President has been negotiating contracts his entire life. 
He took a look at the beginnings of the Pentagon contracts and said, by 
golly, we can do better for the American people; $728 million on 
project number one saved for the American taxpayer.
  That brings us to number 16, Mr. Speaker, and that is 16 years since 
consumer confidence in this country has been as high as it is today. I 
enjoy traveling across the district, Mr. Speaker, and I am talking to 
folks. We are a divided community, like every community is in the 
country. Some folks believe one thing; some folks believe another. 
Generally, we are united on issues, but sometimes we are divided on 
issues. And voter after voter after voter says: Rob, I am not sure what 
is going to happen, but I feel like we are going to have opportunity. 
It has been 16 years since consumer confidence has reached this high of 
a level.
  Now, with that increase in confidence, Mr. Speaker, comes an 
incredible obligation on the 435 of us to deliver. This isn't 
confidence that is based on nothing happening. This is confidence based 
on something happening. We have real obligations to fulfill those 
promises, those commitments that we all made during the last election 
cycle. I think we have the men and women in this Chamber who can do it, 
but it has been 16 years since the American people believed that we 
could.
  I want to put those border crossings in perspective, Mr. Speaker. 
There has been a 61 percent decline in border crossings in President 
Trump's first 100 days.
  Now, I come from Georgia. We have got a robust agricultural economy 
in Georgia. And I tell my constituents day in and day out, if you are 
not going to raise your son or daughter to pick carrots in south 
Georgia; if you don't aspire for your son or daughter to be the very 
best cabbage picker that we have in the State of Georgia; if you are 
not aspiring to be part of that agricultural economy and help us get 
crops out of the field, we are going to need somebody who is aspiring 
to do that hard work. And it is hard work, Mr. Speaker.
  Well, if we can agree that these aren't jobs that American citizens 
are losing, these are jobs that are adding to the American economy, 
then we need a legal visa program to let folks come in and to let folks 
go out. I went on a bipartisan codel, Mr. Speaker--a bipartisan codel, 
Republicans and Democrats, traveling together to El Salvador, 
Guatemala, and Honduras talking with families.
  You remember the women and children crisis there: unaccompanied 
minors coming across the border? I talked to family after family, and 
they said: Rob, listen, I don't want to be an American citizen. I don't 
want to go to America. I don't want to be in America. I am happy here 
at home. But dad, or my husband, he generally travels to America during 
the growing season, during the construction season, and turns around 
and comes back home when that season is over.
  Well, you all are getting so tough on your border security, you are 
not handing out legal visas to do this work, that now my husband or my 
dad can't come back home when the growing season is over. So now we are 
all picking up, and we are trying to get into America, too, so the 
family can stay together.
  Well, it makes perfectly good sense to me if you were that family. It 
makes no sense if you are the American taxpayer. You recognize that you 
have jobs that need to be filled. You recognize you have skills that 
you are not training your children to fulfill, and you don't want to 
change the visa program to make that happen.
  The President has committed to growing the economy. We know that is 
going to mean legal access in and out of the country. There was a 61 
percent drop in illegal border crossings in the first 100 days.
  I will tell you what else that means, Mr. Speaker. That means, 
instead of our border patrol men and women working that border under 
very difficult conditions, instead of our law enforcement, instead of 
all of the instruments of homeland security that we have in this 
country being focused on families crossing the border, with a 61 
percent decline in this human traffic crossing the border, law 
enforcement can now focus on the real security issues to this country: 
to the drugs crossing the border, to the weapons crossing the border; 
forbid the thought to weapons of mass destruction crossing the border.
  There have been tremendously important accomplishments here in the 
first 100 days; so much more that we will be able to do together.
  Mr. Speaker, there were 25 Iranian entities sanctioned by the Trump 
administration in the first 100 days. That is what we did together in 
this Chamber. You will remember, Mr. Speaker, we passed the Iranian 
sanctions language in a bipartisan way to send the word to the leaders 
of Iran that while we have great respect for your citizenry, we cannot 
tolerate a nuclear Iran. We do not trust you to be a member of the 
league of nations with nuclear capabilities, and the answer is no as 
you pursue those very dangerous dreams.
  Well, you will remember, President Obama negotiated a deal with the 
international community and with the Iranians. I wish he hadn't, but he 
did. We had sanctions. Those sanctions are now gone. Iran is pursuing 
very much the same path that I would have expected them to pursue, 
given the deal that was negotiated. And the world continues to be a 
dangerous place.
  Well, we have rules on the books today, laws on the books today that 
allow the government, in consultation with Congress, in cooperation 
with Congress, based on statutes passed by Congress, to get involved 
unilaterally as the United States of America in trying to prevent a 
nuclear Iran.

[[Page H2929]]

  There were 25 different entities identified by this administration as 
helping the Iranian Government to pursue those dangerous and illegal 
nuclear goals sanctioned and reined in. It is going to make a 
difference. It is going to make a difference to national security. It 
is going to make a difference to international security.
  Mr. Speaker, $18 billion--you can't see this slide, but already in 4 
months on the job, 4 months in cooperation with this Congress, we have 
seen $18 billion saved through the elimination of red tape. I don't 
mean $18 billion that is a one-time deal, Mr. Speaker. I mean $18 
billion annually in wasteful compliance costs erased by this 
administration, again, often in cooperation and consultation with 
Congress.
  When I go back and tell you that this President has signed more bills 
into law than any President since Harry Truman in cooperation with this 
Congress, I am talking about many of the bills that did exactly this: 
cutting red tape, saving the American taxpayer money. Those bills, very 
often, were brought through the Congressional Review Act process. That 
is a process, as you know, Mr. Speaker, that allows the Congress to 
take a look at the regulations that the administration promulgates.
  We pass the laws; the administration writes the regs; we get to go 
back and look at the regs to make sure they represent the true intent 
of the legislation.
  Well, in many instances so far this year, Mr. Speaker--in fact, in 
more instances than any other time in American history, we have decided 
that those regulations do not reflect the intent of Congress. In fact, 
often they are running directly contrary to the intent of Congress. We 
have eliminated those $18 billion annually in savings to the American 
taxpayer.
  Remember the Keystone pipeline, Mr. Speaker. This administration 
approved the Dakota Access pipeline. Think back, Mr. Speaker. We are 
going to disagree on things. I am perfectly comfortable with the 
disagreements that this body has. But when the application for the 
Keystone pipeline was delivered to the administration, it took longer 
for the past two administrations to approve the Keystone pipeline--and 
by approve it, I mean ultimately they rejected it. It took longer for 
them to consider and reject the Keystone pipeline than it took for 
Americans to build the Hoover Dam from start to finish.
  I want you to think about that. When we are talking about jobs; when 
we are talking about the economy; when we are talking about America 
being that beacon of hope, and freedom, and opportunity across the 
country; when we are talking about the tremendous need for public works 
projects in this country, and the amazing things the American people 
can do when they put their shoulder into it, it took longer in the 21st 
century to get an answer to whether or not you are allowed to build a 
pipeline than it took to build the Hoover Dam from start to finish. 
That is bad for all of us.

                              {time}  1615

  That is bad for every Republican, every Democrat, every Independent. 
Every single American citizen needs economic opportunity. Every single 
American citizen needs a job. Every single American citizen needs the 
certainty of knowing if the pipeline is bad, let's cancel it and let's 
move on. But let's not sit and wait and delay. Let's not debate and 
debate. Let's get to an answer.
  In the first 100 days on the job, President Trump got to an answer. 
President Bush and President Obama, combined, again, over 8 years of 
delay. President Trump, first 100 days, approved this.
  What does this mean? Well, it means that the oil coming out of Canada 
is going to come to America to be refined. Remember, the Keystone 
Pipeline debate, Mr. Speaker, was never about the environment and 
whether or not the Canadians were going to harvest this oil. It was 
never about that. The Canadians were loud and clear: We are going to 
get this oil out of the ground. We are either going to get it out of 
the ground and send it to America to be processed, or we are going to 
get it out of the ground and send it to China to be processed. You 
pick.
  Well, Mr. Speaker, that is an easy choice. If I get to be king of 
Canada, I can make different decisions about their environment. But 
while Canada has sovereignty and gets to make its own decisions about 
its natural resources, we get to decide: Are American citizens going to 
profit from the processing of this oil or is China going to profit from 
the processing of this oil?
  When this oil gets processed, who do you think is doing it in the 
most environmentally sensitive manner, Mr. Speaker? You tell me. If 
there's a single colleague in this body that believes the Chinese are 
better stewards of the environment than the Americans are, then you 
needed to vote ``no'' on the Keystone pipeline. But if you believe that 
we care more about Mother Earth than the Chinese do, if you believe 
that American rules and regulations protect the environment more than 
Chinese rules and regulations do, then you needed to be a supporter of 
the Keystone pipeline.
  In his first 100 days, President Trump took this source of indecision 
and confusion and provided certainty. That is not academic, Mr. 
Speaker. That certainty is directly connected to jobs.
  You can't see it from where you sit, Mr. Speaker, but I am talking 
about over 500,000 new jobs not connected to the pipeline, 
individually. There are going to be a lot of jobs on the pipeline. Not 
this number. I am talking about this approach to governing that says 
people deserve a ``yes'' or a ``no'' answer. People deserve certainty. 
People deserve fast responses. People don't need to hang in the lurch.
  Every single Member of this body, Mr. Speaker, has seen it in their 
constituency back home where a small-business owner said: You know 
what? I wanted to hire a few more people, but I wasn't really sure what 
was about to happen and so I have been putting it off. I wanted to open 
a new franchise, but I wasn't entirely sure of what the economic 
situation was going to be so I have been putting it off.
  When we talk about the economic growth over the past 100 days, when 
we talk about the stock markets moving, when we talk about consumer 
confidence rising, when we talk about new jobs being created, we are 
talking about a change in attitude. And I have seen it on both sides of 
this body.
  It is a shame, Mr. Speaker, there is that underlying current that 
maybe voters reward fighting with each other more than they reward 
working together. I don't believe it, but I certainly see people posit 
that theory. I believe folks reward cooperation and getting things 
done. I don't think people pay us to agree with each other. I think 
people pay us to make progress together--500,000 new jobs.
  I will read from The Wall Street Journal. It says: ``The Trump order 
is a promise in the bank for the voters who elected the President 
because he promised to focus on jobs and revving up the economy.''
  I believe it is 12 congressional districts, Mr. Speaker, that have 
Democrats representing them in Congress, but those districts voted for 
President Trump in the Presidential election. These are not 
conservative men and women out across the district pursuing some sort 
of ideological agenda. These are hardworking American families who 
identify more with the Democratic Party and Democratic values but who 
began to lose hope in what was going on with regulation across the 
country and job creation across the country, and they cast their vote 
for President Trump.
  Over 500,000 new jobs, Mr. Speaker.
  What are we talking about? We are talking about the Keystone 
pipeline. We are talking about the Clean Power Plan, which, alone, 
threatened to put about 286,000 jobs out to pasture. We are talking 
about new investments in infrastructure.
  I am not just talking about roads and bridges, Mr. Speaker. I am 
talking about the FAA and air transportation. I am talking about ports 
like the Port of Savannah in Georgia, the fastest growing container 
port in the Nation, and sea transportation. I am talking about 
railroads. I am talking about water infrastructure to make sure every 
family has access to clean and healthy drinking water.
  These are job-creating proposals, and they are job-creating proposals 
that have been kept off the books for so long because of regulatory 
uncertainty.

[[Page H2930]]

Today we have an opportunity to do that for the very first time.
  Mr. Speaker, I am going to take you back to where I began, and that 
is that we have a choice in this country. We can focus on the things 
that divide us all day every day. We can do it. I still believe there 
is more that unites us as a nation than divides us as a nation, but if 
you choose to spend your time talking about those things that divide 
us, you can fill up a day.
  If you choose to spend your time talking about those things that are 
broken yet proffering no solutions to fix them, you can fill up a day. 
If you choose to spend your day talking about why everybody else is a 
lazy son of a gun and only you have access to the truth, you can fill 
up a day, and then a week, and then a month, and then a year, and then 
a Presidential cycle, and then a decade, and then a generation.

  But, Mr. Speaker, if you will recognize that working together we have 
already passed more laws in 2017 than any other Congress and President 
working together since Harry Truman, if you will recognize that we have 
taken the uncertainty out of the Supreme Court--we fully staffed the 
Supreme Court so that uncertainty in the legal arena will exist no 
longer--if you recognize that a thorny issue like illegal immigration 
that has been made so difficult to solve because we haven't been able 
to figure out how to deal with the border security aspect so that we 
can go on and deal with the other thorny issues, those border crossings 
are down, which means our opportunity has increased for dealing with 
these problems that have plagued our Nation for so long.
  I can give you one example of that, Mr. Speaker. I am going to 
digress.
  I have got a family in my district trying to bring a relative into 
the country from Haiti. They have been working on it for 11 years--11 
years. All the talk that goes on in this body about immigration, nobody 
is taking about helping my constituents from Haiti. Nobody is talking 
about passing a law to make it easier to get your family member in from 
Haiti. Nobody is talking about those families that have been separated 
while trying to follow the law of the land. Nobody is talking about 
those families that have paid out of pocket to go through the legal 
process--all the time, all the money, all the delay to do it the right 
way. Nobody is talking about fixing it for those families.
  Let's fix it for those families because we all agree there is a 
better way. If you want to get your adult child in from Mexico, Mr. 
Speaker, you needed to file your paperwork in 1993 for their number to 
be coming up today--1993, to do it the right way and have their number 
to come up today.
  Who believes a 25-year process to bring a family member into this 
country is the right answer? Of course folks are going to do it the 
wrong way.
  If you want to bring your adult brother or sister in from the 
Philippines, you had to file in 1994 for their number to be coming up 
legally today. Who believes that is the right system?
  The system is broken. We don't have enough trust together to repair 
the system. By eliminating the illegal border crossing's immediate 
challenge, the President has created the headroom for us to work 
together on issues that we can absolutely solve.
  728, Mr. Speaker, the number of millions of dollars saved in contract 
negotiations thus far--in fact, not even thus far, but contract 
negotiations on one single Pentagon project that the President has 
inserted himself in.
  For all the things you may think the President knows, doesn't know, 
you agree with, you disagree with, you have to know that he knows how 
to drive a hard bargain. You have to know that he knows how to 
negotiate big contracts.
  The American taxpayer is not satisfied with the way we have been 
doing it, with the way former White Houses have been doing it. We have 
an opportunity to come together and do it better, and the President is 
leading us in that way.
  And that all culminates, Mr. Speaker, in 16. That is the number of 
years since consumer confidence in this country was at its current 
levels. You can do that math if you would like, Mr. Speaker. It will 
take you back through an entire 8 years of Democratic control of the 
White House, and it will take you back through an entire 8 years of 
Republican control of the White House.
  The American consumer does not care whether you are a Republican or a 
Democrat. The American consumer cares whether or not they think their 
job is secure.
  The American consumer does not care if you are a Republican or a 
Democrat. The American consumer cares whether prices are higher 
tomorrow or lower tomorrow.
  The American consumer does not care about our petty, silly, inside-
the-beltway Washington arguments. They care about whether America is 
going to be stronger for their children and grandchildren a generation 
from now. And it has been 16 years since American consumers have the 
optimism that they have today.
  I will say it again, Mr. Speaker. We can consume every second of 
every day in this body fussing, griping, complaining--there are lots of 
things that are wrong and lots of folks to blame for it--or we can 
recognize the big hopes and dreams that the American people have placed 
on this President and this Congress and this time in our history. We 
can recognize that there is still more that unites us in this country 
than divides us in this country. We can still recognize that folks care 
very little about us and our families and care so very much about their 
community and their families.
  With that as our touchstone, Mr. Speaker, call me an irrational 
optimist, but I think there is absolutely nothing that we can't do 
together, and I look forward to playing a role in that.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

                          ____________________