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Trump Government Shutdown

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, center, holds up a paper about President Donald Trump's proposals for the border, as he and other House Republicans speak to the media on Tuesday after meeting with the president at the White House on border security, as from left are Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., and Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Mich., listen. The White House says rank-and-file House Democrats have declined Trump's invitation for a White House lunch as the administration tries to build support for funding the border wall with Mexico amid the government shutdown. 

At a recent hearing focused on making Congress work, I asked former Obama Transportation Secretary and Illinois Congressman Ray LaHood, who chaired the impeachment proceedings of President Clinton, what we can do to legislate in the event impeachment proceedings were initiated? His answer was not very optimistic.

He said impeachment will change this place forever and all legislative work will stop. Ray’s advice: “Avoid impeachment like the plague.”

This is the primary reason I oppose impeachment, it prevents Congress from doing the work of the people.

While impeachment continues, every day Americans suffer. Congress has accomplished little to nothing while it has been consumed with impeachment. Since Democrats took power, more subpoenas have been issued than bills signed into law. The far left and far right have gone to their corners leaving behind many of my constituents who just want their government to work.

Your elected leaders are charged with doing the work of the people, and at times that means disagreeing with the President, as I did recently, leading a bipartisan effort against the EPA’s proposed rule on ethanol. While many Democrats obsess with removing President Trump from office, I continue to push for solutions and to try and move legislation forward for my district.

This is what Congress should be doing:

Fixing roads and bridges. As the lead Republican on the Highways and Transit Committee, I continue to push for an infrastructure bill. Our roads and bridges are crumbling and I want the House, Senate, and the President to work together to pass an infrastructure bill to fix them.

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Increasing access to affordable health insurance. I am working on a bill right now to increase access to affordable, quality health insurance. Most Americans get their health care through their employer and they like the insurance they have because it’s affordable, they have more options, and it provides adequate coverage. I want more people to have access to this kind of affordable coverage, even if they are not employed.

My healthcare bill will allow small businesses to pool together to offer their employees coverage, but also allows associations, like AARP, to offer their members coverage and even help people buy on the Obamacare exchange if that’s their only option.

Keeping taxes low. We need to ensure the tax cut Republicans worked to give middle-class Americans and small businesses last Congress is permanent. I am fighting to make sure your taxes do not go up when this bill expires. My bill, the Protecting Family & Small Business Tax Cuts Act, would make permanent the lower individual rate, which saves the average family over $2,000 a year, doubling the standard deduction, doubling the child tax credit to $2,000.

Addressing the opioid epidemic. Recently, I partnered with local law enforcement in Bloomington-Normal to introduce the bipartisan Opioid Prescription Verification Act to help them slow the movement of opioids into the illegal market through ‘pharmacy shopping.’

Helping working parents afford child care. The Child and Dependent Care Modernization Act is a bill I introduced with a colleague to help more working parents pay for daycare. This is a huge problem for working parents and this bill will provide more flexibility for parents.

Tackling student debt. Student loan debt is now the second-highest form of consumer debt. I am committed to innovative ways to address this issue. My bill, the Employer Participation in Repayment Act, will encourage employers to offer a benefit to their employees that help them pay on existing student debt. This is similar to how they can already pay for continued education.

President Obama once said that elections have consequences. He was right. Unfortunately, the consequences of the 2018 election seem to be a Congress who has gotten very little done because they are embroiled in the unprecedented, secret impeachment of a President they do not like, denying the American people the right to have their voices heard. Will House leadership listen to the American people and work with me? Or will they continue to do nothing while the people demand solutions?

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U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, has represented Illinois's 13th congressional district since 2013.

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