Rep. Jim Renacci
Rep. Jim Renacci
By Rep. Jim Renacci

President Trump has delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress. I believe I speak for many when I say we witnessed the same steadfast Donald Trump we saw during his presidential campaign, a businessman who promised to make America great again through job creation and economic opportunity for all.

The president's first weeks in office, as outlined in his speech, demonstrate that he intends to deliver on these promises. In his first actions as president, Donald Trump has issued executive orders to roll back the growth of stifling government bureaucracy and overregulation of our economy.

He nominated a justice to the Supreme Court who will defend our Constitution. He has worked to stabilize the transition from the failing Affordable Care Act to a new, patient-centered replacement. Furthermore, the president has acted decisively to keep our nation safe, issuing executive orders to secure our southern border and enforce our immigration laws.

I am confident the president's commitment to keeping these promises, something so rare to find in Washington, means we can take many of his other promises to the bank. The president has called on Congress to join him in replacing Obamacare with a newer, better system.

It is abundantly clear that Obamacare is failing.

In Ohio, premiums have increased over 90% in the last 4 years, and plan options in the exchanges are dwindling. Last year, all counties had at least 4 insurers operating in the exchanges, yet this year, nearly a quarter have only one and another quarter only two. In the last year, 6 of the 17 insurers operating in Ohio's exchanges left, and there are no signs that next year will be any better.

We must implement a system that does everything Obamacare has failed to do: Increase access and choice, lower costs, and preserve the doctor-patient relationship.

I am committed to helping create a system that works for the people of Ohio and puts them at the center, not the government. I commit to working with the President towards a solution that preserves access to coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, allows our youth to remain on their parents' plans, and creates a truly competitive national marketplace by allowing Americans to purchase insurance across state lines.

The president has also called on Congress to lower taxes. To make America great again, we need to make America competitive again. Right now, our tax code doesn't make us competitive. We have some of the highest taxes in the world. We need to lower these taxes to create new jobs and fuel economic growth.

And lastly, we must rebuild our military. It should come as no surprise that the U.S. faces very real threats throughout the world from state and non-state actors. Without replenished funding, our military will continue to have to do more with less and pick and choose which portions of our national defense strategy to implement. I look forward to working with the President to address our military's funding issues in a way that is cognizant of our current spending obligations and national debt.

I was pleased to see the president deliver an optimistic message to the American people. In the final words of his address, the president left us with an important message: "America will be empowered by our aspirations, not burdened by our fears inspired by the future, not bound by the failures of the past and guided by our vision, not blinded by our doubts." I am hopeful members of both sides of the aisle will join me in committing themselves to this vision of a better tomorrow. As the president has made clear, it's time to get to work.

Jim Renacci was elected to the United States House of Representatives in November of 2010 and is serving his fourth term representing the 16th district of Ohio. he serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Budget Committee.