Last week was an important one in Congress on three fronts for those of us who believe in keeping our promises – we made historic progress for our Second Amendment rights, moved one step closer to comprehensive tax reform, and advanced protections for one of our strongest allies in the Middle East.
Like many of you, I’m a lifelong sportsman and defender of our Constitution, and I have always sought to uphold and protect the Second Amendment. One of the threats to the right to protect ourselves is the hodgepodge of concealed carry laws between states. After hearing countless stories – like the story about Shaneen Allen, a single mother from south Philadelphia who legally purchased a firearm to protect her family and spent almost 50 days in jail after she was stopped in New Jersey because that state did not recognize her concealed carry permit – I began fighting to advance national concealed carry reciprocity. I’m excited to let you know that last week, the House passed my Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38) by an overwhelming and bipartisan vote, 231-198. This is a simple, common sense solution to affirm that law-abiding citizens who are qualified to carry concealed in one state can also carry in other states that allow residents to do so.
Leading gun rights organizations called H.R. 38 “the most expansive self-defense bill ever brought to the floor of the House of Representatives” and “the biggest gun rights boost since the ratification of the Second Amendment.” And the American people agree. Did you know that 73% of Americans support concealed carry reciprocity? That’s because H.R. 38 is simply about preventing law-abiding citizens who are legally qualified to carry a concealed gun from becoming criminals when they cross state lines. House Republicans continue to be focused on common sense policies that not only strengthen the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, but also seek to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those with mental health issues.
As a top priority for me, as well as our president, this vote was a landmark step in keeping our promise to the American people. While this measure now goes to the Senate, I will continue our fight to get this important legislation signed into law.
Last week also brought significant action on our promise to reform America’s outdated, complicated and confusing tax code. The Senate followed our lead in the House, passing its version of a tax reform plan. I am proud that Congress has now begun finalizing a unified tax reform plan focused on putting more money in your pocket, creating more jobs, producing higher wages and generating more opportunity for all Americans. With our economy on the brink of a full recovery, I am confident tax reform has the potential to help families and businesses across our district and country by boosting our economy.
Finally, last week I applauded another promise kept by President Donald Trump to move our nation’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Just in time for the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays, this decisive action demonstrates America’s resolve and loyalty to our ally Israel. I believe our country is stronger when we follow through on our commitments, no matter what the pressure or obstacles may be.
Keeping your promises is one of the most fundamental and important lessons I can teach my son Lane. While these are the latest examples of keeping promises and delivering results, they won’t be the last.