If actions speak louder than words, then results are deafening. And we’ve seen incredible results thanks to hard-working Americans, our historic tax cuts and finally having pro-growth regulatory reform. The number of Americans filing for unemployment has fallen to a 49-year low. The U.S. economy grew by 4.2 percent in the second quarter of this year, marking the fastest economic expansion in nearly four years. Wages climbed in August by the most since the recession ended in 2009. Unemployment is at an historic low of 3.9 percent. And Americans are seeing more take-home pay in their paychecks. Maybe that’s one reason why Americans are so optimistic and consumer confidence and job satisfaction are at historic highs.
During the month of August, I had the opportunity to travel across our district and meet with hundreds of you. It was exciting to see your attitudes and hear your optimism. I was able to see just how you’re experiencing personal benefits from tax cuts and regulatory reform. I saw time and time again that you aren’t concerned with fake news, political bickering, or “he said, she said” gossip. You are overwhelmingly more focused on things affecting your everyday life and your family budget.
And you want results, not rhetoric. Are your taxes lower, are your family’s bills more manageable, is the job market better, is your family healthy? That’s what matters. And these are the bipartisan policies on which I remain focused.
Last week, the House passed the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act (H.R. 4318) to help provide much-needed relief from taxes that make goods and services more expensive. This bipartisan measure will make it easier for American manufacturers to compete globally. The domino effect of this policy will be more jobs and increased wages for workers and decreased prices for consumers. In fact, the National Association of Manufacturers hailed the bill as “a big deal” and said it will help increase manufacturing output by more than $3.1 billion over the next three years.
By the same token, you’re focused on issues impacting our community, and one of those issues is GenX contamination in the eastern part of the state. That’s why I’ve made tackling this problem a top priority. I serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment, so I’m on the frontlines of our efforts.
Last week, we held a hearing to examine per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) — like GenX — to further investigate the facts. I discussed the recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) community engagement event I held in Fayetteville where the EPA heard directly from residents who have been affected by GenX contamination. I had the opportunity to ask Dr. Peter Grevatt, the director of the Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water at the EPA, several questions.
During the hearing, I once again pressed the EPA to complete their toxicity study and develop a public health advisory — these are critical steps in developing a joint state and federal response to GenX. Dr. Grevatt responded, “We’re very close to this now and we expect in the coming weeks to have that available in draft for public review and comment,” saying the Fayetteville community engagement event helped get them closer to finishing the study.
This is progress, and I look forward to having this data so we can move forward and tackle GenX once and for all. Your priorities are my priorities, and I will continue leading the fight for our community.