During his 1980 debate with then-President Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan famously asked Americans whether they were better off than they’d been four years earlier. That question has been a measuring stick for elected officials ever since. Republicans in Congress are committed to making life better for Americans. We’ve made great strides over the past two years, and there’s more on the horizon.

After a historically slow economic recovery from the Great Recession, too many Americans were struggling. That’s why Republicans passed a comprehensive reform of our outdated tax code to put more money in Americans’ pockets and get our economy going again. We cut tax rates for families and doubled the child tax credit, and in 2018 the average family of four saw a tax cut of more than $2,000.

The new tax law also made it easier for employers to grow and create jobs, and now we’re seeing the results. The economy is thriving. Job creation is up. Wages are growing at the fastest pace in a decade. Personal income is up. Business investment is up. Tax reform is bringing workers more opportunities, bigger paychecks, and a better quality of life.

But that’s not all we achieved. We expanded access to potentially life-saving experimental treatments for terminally ill patients. We passed the longest extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program in the program’s history. And we passed multibillion-dollar, bipartisan legislation to combat the nationwide opioid epidemic and to bring hope to families and communities that have been devastated by this crisis.

We also enacted legislation to provide better education and training to workers. We passed bipartisan legislation to support clean energy technologies. And we passed a farm bill to support our nation’s farmers and ranchers and protect our environment.

We’re not done. Republicans are working right now to develop and pass policies that will continue to grow the economy, including the struggling agriculture economy, help address the cost of living, and improve quality of life.

We’re committed to making tax relief for American families permanent. We’re also working to open new markets for American goods and services so that American workers, American companies, and American agricultural producers can prosper. One big priority is passing the United States-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement, which would grow our economy and support 176,000 new U.S. jobs.

One burden that nearly every family has struggled with at some point is the high cost of health care. That’s why Senate Republicans, led by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Chuck Grassley, are currently working on a number of measures to make health care more affordable, including legislation to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, increase access to lower-cost generic drugs, and address so-called surprise billing, those unexpected bills in the mail when it wasn’t disclosed to you that, for example, your emergency room physician was not in your insurance network.

Another burden facing families is the cost of education. Republicans on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee are focused on passing legislation this year to make it easier to apply for federal student aid and to pay back student loans. We will also continue to support career and technical education and will work to further increase the usefulness of popular 529 savings plans.

Still another pressure facing families is the cost of retirement, and Republicans are currently working on legislation to make it easier to enroll in retirement plans, easier for small businesses to offer plans to their employees, and easier to move plans from job to job.

One bright spot for family budgets in recent years has been energy costs. Republicans are committed to making sure that energy bills stay affordable by supporting responsible energy development. We’re also committed to keeping our air clean and our environment healthy by investing in clean energy. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, under the leadership of Sen. John Barrasso, recently passed bipartisan legislation to increase the use of carbon capture technologies to reduce emissions. Senate Energy Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski recently introduced bipartisan legislation to support the development of next-generation reactors to boost the use of nuclear power, America’s most significant source of clean energy.

Not all of these measures Republicans are working on get a lot of attention in the news. Many of our proposals don’t have catchy names, and they certainly don’t make unrealistic, pie-in-the-sky promises to the public. But what our proposals do have is the potential to continue to make life better for American families — to make paychecks bigger, the cost of living more reasonable, the air cleaner, retirement easier, and college more affordable.

Thanks to tax reform and other legislation we’ve enacted, families are doing better than they have in a long time. Republicans are going to keep working to ensure families do even better in the future.

(24) comments

GBR SD

PATHETIC, you used the word Republicans 9 (NINE) times in your little fantasy letter. How about working across the aisle for once. Your little tax scheme that you pulled off with Donny didn't amount to squat. Sure, I have an extra $2.30 on my take home every two weeks so that's like a half gallon of milk, but I had to pay in for the first time in my life. Work together and do better!

antiteaparty

Reminder that the great tax cuts that Senator Thune is telling us are making our lives so great have disproportionately benefited the top 1%. 85% of the tax cuts went to the ultra wealthy. College costs have gone nowhere. The sabotage of the Affordable Care Act have made healthcare cost rise. I don't know anyone who has seen a reduction in prescription drug prices. Simply put, Senator Thune is participating in the great new Republican tradition of gas lighting the public. Thank you Senator Thune! Your policies that greatly benefit the rich over the rest of us is certainly making my life exponentially better.

Kate70

Good to see a positive report, Senator Thune. As long as our Government actually works on getting things done instead of wasting so much time hating our President, calling names, suggesting MORE investigations into 'Russian Collusion' after just having finished a 2.5 yr investigation by all Dem. reps. which yielded nothing, and rallying constantly for Impeachment (if he is so Impeachable, why don't you go ahead and DO it??) and opposing and trying to block anything this President does , perhaps we would have some actual work going on in the Govt. I see that you are trying and still able to get things done. There’s no question that the economy has come back to life under Trump’s presidency, that his Supreme Court appointments have at least started to rebalance the American judiciary and that his foreign policy has restored American leadership in world affairs. The other things Sen. Thune mentioned are also to his credit and to the credit of the Republicans and those few Democrats willing to keep doing their job instead of trolling for a way to bring down our nations' top official. Look for the good occasionally, my fellow countrymen. It is still one of my biggest points in knowing that all the hostility and refusal to work as a bipartison nation and Congress is due to the virulent hatred of one man... it is all consuming and therefore stops much of what could be done in this country if those in the majority would do their jobs instead of just spouting opposition and hate. I have repeatedly challenged people to prove that that is not so (the hatred and slander of our President, his family, his wife and all his supporters) by telling us ONE thing they have found that is positive that the President has done or one this good about him. No one in 2.5 yrs has even attempted to respond. If we can find nothing good in a person or in what a person has accomplished, then hatred is an all consuming flaw to be worked on in our character. Nothing being worked for can happen if this loathing and abhorrence continue to be the focus of those who do not support our President in a bipartisan way. Opposition and support of some legislation is expected and a part of Government. Continued and constant hostility and detestation of one man stopping it all is no way to get what it is that you want in this country.

antiteaparty

Well, let me be the first to respond in 2.5 years. Nothing. There is not one thing about the President or his policies that is positive. And unless you are Russia or North Korea or some other dictatorship, nobody is looking to Drumpf for foreign policy leadership. Your statement contending the opposite is laughable. Sit down, Kate.

GBR SD

Name calling? What do you think Trump does to ever body he opposes...lets give them a nickname. They should do actual work but when Trump walks out of a meeting and says he WILL NOT WORK WITH DEMOCRATS...well lets just say we know where the problem is. I find it funny that you still don't see the wrong in this man that sits in OUR house. And just today he attacks the former vice-president of our great country while siding with the Dictator Kim Jung Un and yet you people still support him...why?

Kate70

You have both proved my point. Try watching C- SPAN news sometime. They do not slant the news. They give NO COMMENTARY so intelligent people can see the whole story and decide for themselves instead of repeating what they have heard on big media absurdly slanted news that very often takes things out of context (much of what GBR said is a repetition of that), or just reports the parts that they apparently pick and choose from to slander . They are a disgrace. Try C-SPAN for a few wks and then decide for YOURSELF what is real and what is not. Maybe if you had heard the entire story instead of just one line "I will not work with Democrats" might make some sense to you. CSPAN had coverage of the entire meeting and the comments by Dems and Repubs alike before it took place...........without comment or biased opinion. I don't know when our newspapers became commentary and opinion writers instead of reporters. Fox is totally Repub slanted and I don't listen to them anymore even though they were honest enough to make sure every KNOWs they are and have always BEEN an "opinion forum" about the news. C-span. And I do sit down to watch it, thank you.

antiteaparty

Hi, I'm Kate. I'm very neutral and I will prove it by heaping this glowing praise, that I took straight from Fox News, upon the best President ever, Trump. "There’s no question that the economy has come back to life under Trump’s presidency, that his Supreme Court appointments have at least started to rebalance the American judiciary and that his foreign policy has restored American leadership in world affairs."

dmilroy

Your assumption that all opposition to President Trump is do to "the virulent hatred of one man" is clearly false. For example: many people support Mr. Trump for his tariffs, tax cuts, immigration policies, and stance on abortion while other oppose him for the same policies. Those people are not motivated by hate but because they disagree with Mr. Trump's policies.

Mr. Trump often views disagreement as a personal attack. For example: Jeff Sessions was one of Trump's earliest and most vocal supporters. He became Trump's first attorney general did more to promote Trump's policies than anyone other than Trump himself. But because Sessions recused himself from the Russian election interference probe against Trump's wishing, Mr. Trump repeatedly attacked and insulted Attorney General Sessions until he was forced to resign.

President Trump's role in generating the pettiness and hatred that surrounds him is significant.

Justthinking

I got 1.00 extra monthly and just paid $2,000 more taxes. Huge tax break for the politician, wealthiest and corporations.

Justthinking

During Ike’s time taxes on the top was 91% Reagan cut it to 38% now it’s about 21%.

Justthinking

The puny increase I got cost me 2000. I’m poor not wealthy

Kate70

Antiteaparty: Excuse me? That was unnecessary and untrue. I never said I was neutral. I said I watch a neutral news station. Everyone can tell easily that I support this Administration... I have never once claimed to be neutral about that and I resent your implications otherwise. I do NOT agree with everything Trump says and does but I did not with Pres. Obama either and yet I didn't belittle every word he spoke or every decision he made. I tried to look at the proposals and legislation , etc. as accurately as I could. I am not all knowing so probably got it wrong sometimes. But I don't think it is necessary EVER to attack a person for whom they support. Again, I suggested a neutral news outlet that could be watched. I did not say I was neutral in my support. JustThinking: I think the tax revisions (approved by Dems and Reps alike unless I am mistaken and I am fully capable of mistakes) affected different people in different ways depending on a lot of factors. I am not wealthy by any means but we got our very first IRS return and didn't have to pay in MORE for the first time in 5 yrs after that tax revision went into effect. On the other hand, our daughter , got no return and did have to pay in and she is in about the same income situation as us. I don't know the answers to that...

antiteaparty

Trump is a lying narcissist who needs to be impeached. And Senator Thune will be one of those who go down in history as a spineless yes-man who put party over country.

Kate70

One last comment and then I am done. If Trump should b e impeached, as has been preached by so many for 2.5 YEARS, and they to do that they would need impeachable evidence, WHY then is it not happening?? If he is impeachable and is ruining the country as they all say, why aren't those that have that kind of evidence stepping forward and doing it?? Ask your "party" why THEY are being "spineless", since that seems to be your criticizm of the Rep. If he truly has committed impeachable offenses, I want to know and I want him impeached as well.

antiteaparty

I agree Kate. Democrats are being cowards and need to stand up and impeach the lying narcissist for his crimes, namely obstruction of justice. The Mueller report lays clear 10 different cases where Drumpf tried to obstruct. It's time for the Dems to have a spine.

MidwestLife

antiteaparty, I'm curious who you want to run our country?

antiteaparty

Democrats for the foreseeable future. The only republican worth his weight in spit in Washington right now is Justin Amash.

Justthinking

Midwestlife. Even a chimpanzee could do better than what’s there now. They at least went into space.

MidwestLife

So you don't care WHO, as long as it's a democrat?! So you don't actually care who is running the country, you care which party is in control. That is just sad

antiteaparty

That's correct. Republicans have proven to me that they only care about the debt when a Democrat President is in office, they only care about law and order when a Democrat President is in office. The Republican Party has lost all credibility to me. They allow a Republican President and his Administration get away with lying to the American public on a daily basis, they engage in such corrupt behavior that it would make the Nixon administration blush. That is what is truly sad. So, yes, as long as someone has a D behind their name they have my vote for the foreseeable future.

Justthinking

One reason is that the VP is as bad a President material. Besides we get rid of both next year with no effort.

MidwestLife

I don't think either of them are going anywhere!

Kate70

Midwest Life: I agree with both of your contributions. And it is very sad that PARTY is the answer for these people. Says a great deal about the lack of understanding of our government. I would also invite them to look up Impeachment... they will be sad to see that even if happened it won't take their reviled and hated man, President Trump, out of office nor put Pence in charge. Remember Bill Clinton, who lied in a Congressional hearing, and was impeached?

antiteaparty

Mideast and Karen are free to think what they want. Free country and all. Republicans in Washington are currently placing party above country by not acting as a check on the most lawless President in the history of this country. For that is truly what is sad. Until that changes its all Dems for me and I don't feel one ounce of shame for it.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.