Reform America 2017 is a comprehensive plan for Congress and the White House to get our country back on the road to growth, prosperity, and opportunity for all Americans.
The American people have spoken: We deserve a government that works for us, not against us.
Americans for Prosperity, on behalf of its 3.2 million grassroots activists, is fighting for exactly that. In 2017 and beyond, we’ll fight for real reforms in health care, taxes and spending, and regulation—and we’ll ensure that our leaders in Washington, D.C. put Americans’ interests first.
Obamacare is easily the most destructive law passed during the Obama administration. Repealing it should be at the top of the to-do list for President Donald Trump and Congress. Six years after its passage, the law has led to skyrocketing premiums, canceled plans, less access to doctors and hospitals, and a litany of other serious problems for millions of Americans. Repealing Obamacare is the first and most important step to righting these wrongs and putting health care back on the right path.
Even without Obamacare, America’s health-care system still suffers from serious problems that stem from too much government control. That’s why President Trump and Congress must identify and eliminate the slew of anti-competitive, anti-consumer laws and regulations that stifle innovation and keep costs high. Only then will the American people experience better health care at a lower cost for more people—the type of health care that we’ve been promised but haven’t seen for decades.
For years, politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. have tried—and failed—to fix health care. But state governments play a critical role, too, and can be important laboratories for innovation. Congress must empower states to identify and solve their own unique health-care issues, free from one-size-fits-all federal mandates. State lawmakers can also eliminate their own laws and regulations that harm their constituents. This includes certificate-of-need laws, scope-of-practice laws, and restrictions on telemedicine.
Our nation’s veterans fought and sacrificed for our freedom and prosperity. But when they get home, government-run health care and bureaucratic red tape at the Department of Veterans Affairs stop them from receiving the health care they need and the benefits that they earned. Even worse, entrenched politicians who fight to defend the status quo are putting their own special interests ahead of the needs of those who served. It’s long past time to give real choice to America’s heroes and bring accountability to the VA, which only Congress can provide.
Politicians always promise to rein in government’s spending addiction. But then they get to Washington, D.C. and make the problem worse. This can’t continue. With America on the verge of $20 trillion in debt, every dollar they add to our nation’s debt jeopardizes our country’s future and imperils the financial and economic well-being of every American. Lawmakers must address this crisis by analyzing every dollar of federal spending while also holding to the bipartisan spending limits they established in the 2011 Budget Control Act. If they don’t, every American will suffer.
Our tax code is one of the least fair and most complex in the developed world. High individual rates take too much of Americans’ hard-earned money. Corporate rates put U.S. businesses at a gross disadvantage. And the code is riddled with handouts for special interests. By passing real tax reform that lowers rates, eliminates loopholes, simplifies the code for everyone, and protects consumers from new tax increases, Congress can unleash economic growth and help empower all Americans to pursue and opportunity and achieve their dreams.
We have to balance our family budgets every day. The federal government should, too. The federal budget is filled with waste, fraud, and abuse, costing billions of dollars every year. Even more is spent on programs that are driving America towards the brink of bankruptcy. On its current course, the budget will never balance again. So lawmakers must pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and restore regular order in the budgeting process. The American people make tough budget decisions every day—so should Congress and the White House.
Everyone agrees that we must fix roads and bridges in need of repair, but the best way to pay for this isn’t to spend money we don’t have and add billions—or even trillions—to the national debt. Instead, lawmakers must eliminate or reform outdated regulations that make construction projects more costly and drag them out for years, or even decades. From repealing Davis-Bacon to eliminating wasteful pet projects to returning spending control to state and local governments, there are plenty of ways for Congress to spend smarter and ensure that every taxpayer dollar goes as far as it possibly can.
Fact: The regulatory state is out of control. Costing American businesses nearly $2 trillion (and growing) every year, this deluge of red tape strangles our economy and stifles opportunity for Americans. That’s why lawmakers must take a hard look at the countless outdated and indefensible regulations that affect literally every aspect of American life. Cutting back these mandates and rules is a proven way to help unleash job growth, wage growth, and economic growth that benefits all Americans.
President Obama committed the United States to a huge number of economically disastrous policies—such as the Paris Agreement, the Clean Power Plan, and more. These plans would force America to cut back on affordable and abundant energy, raising our utility bills and prices at the store — all without making a meaningful difference in the environment. For the sake of every American, especially the least fortunate, Congress and President Trump must pull out of the Paris agreement on climate change and repeal harmful regulations weighing down our economy to unleash America’s energy potential.
Cutting back the current regulatory state isn’t enough: Congress must also protect the American people from over-regulation in the future. This begins with passing laws that make it harder for government agencies to enact costly and damaging regulations in the first place. One important bill is the REINS Act, which would force Congress to vote on every major regulation before it takes effect. Laws like this—and there are many others—would ensure that lawmakers can protect their constituents from over-regulation run amok.
President Obama used the government’s permitting process to hold up economically beneficial projects for years at a time. Remember the Keystone XL Pipeline? Reforming the federal review process—by taking out the countless regulatory speed bumps and road blocks along the way—is more necessary than ever. Congress and the White House can also responsibly open up federally controlled lands for economic development. Such policies would create opportunities for millions of Americans.