There was so much happening last week, we wouldn’t be surprised if you missed some things. The House was busy at work with a “flurry of legislative activity,” sending three bills to the president’s desk: the VA MISSION Act to improve care for veterans; a Dodd-Frank reform bill lightening the burden of financial regulations; and Right to Try legislation to ensure terminally ill patients have access to expanded treatment options.
But we wanted to highlight a few of the House’s other achievements from the past week that may have gone under the radar—all steps taken to help improve Americans’ lives:
- Moving People from Welfare to Work: Good news out of the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday: It passed the Jobs and Opportunity with Benefits and Services (JOBS) for Success Act. This bill, which is another plank of the House’s poverty-fighting agenda, overhauls the current Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. It shifts the program to a system that holds states accountable and ensures funding is being used as effectively as possible to equip people to become and stay employed. Our economy is brimming with opportunities—this will help us better match people with them.
- Reforming the Criminal Justice System: The House overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan prison reform bill to cut down on recidivism and support federal prisoners as they reenter society. The bill would provide evidence-based programming to improve public safety while ensuring that returning federal prisoners can become productive members in their communities. The House and the Trump administration have made reforming the federal prison system a priority—this bill is the result of their hard work and collaboration and is supported by faith groups, law enforcement, and advocates.
- Advancing Lifesaving Research: The House unanimously passed the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act—the most significant pediatric cancer research bill in Congress’ history, sending it to the president’s desk. The bill enables the National Institutes of Health to expand research into childhood cancer and supports ways for states to better track cancer among children, in the hope that fewer and fewer children will have to cope with this disease.
- Strengthening Water Infrastructure: As Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) wrote, “This week, we turn our attention to the ports, levees, dams, inland waterways and other components of the nation’s water transportation system. This delivery network improves the arteries of commerce that move goods from our heartland to the coasts.” And the committee did just that, unanimously approving the Water Resources Development Act to begin upgrading our nation’s water infrastructure.
On top of all these positives, news came that the U.S. has now reclaimed the title of world’s most competitive economy. Things are continuing to look up for Americans.