Thomas J. Donohue Thomas J. Donohue
Advisor and Former Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


January 02, 2017


A new year is a time for a fresh start, and Washington will have exactly that when the new administration and Congress take office. Our incoming leaders will have a historic opportunity to roll back bad policies and restore robust growth to the American economy. The U.S. Chamber stands ready to shape and support their efforts. We encourage them to use the early days of this new year to reflect on the challenges ahead and set a few commonsense resolutions to guide their time in office.

First, our incoming leaders should resolve to work together. They were sent to Washington to govern, not to grandstand or shut things down. Americans have voted for a united government, and thus given the majority a rare opportunity to enact a consistent agenda into law. It would be a shame for leaders who agree on most major issues to be torn apart by minor differences and lose the chance to make historic progress on their shared goals.

Second, our new administration and Congress must resolve to set priorities that maximize their impact. The wheels of government turn slowly no matter who is in charge, and the scarcest resource our new leaders will have is time. Setting realistic priorities that account for procedural and political challenges will allow them to spend their time efficiently and effectively. The focus should be on making a difference where it counts, and where the most Americans will be impacted for the better.

Third, our government must listen. In recent years, too many in Washington declined to truly listen to the American people’s wishes and concerns. As a result, the people replaced them—they elected new leaders and called for more American jobs, a stronger domestic economy, and a revitalized American dream. By listening to everyone from the small business owner, to the low wage worker, to the unemployed college graduate, our government will understand the need that unites all Americans: the need for dynamic economic growth.

As our new leaders prepare to take on the historic opportunity—and responsibility—that lies ahead, the U.S. Chamber will work with them to push real solutions across the finish line. We will be rolling out our detailed agenda of priorities and actions for 2017 in the coming weeks. In the meantime, as Congress returns to Washington and our recently elected leaders begin their service, we encourage them to resolve to do everything they can to seize the opportunities and meet the challenges of the year ahead.

About the authors

Thomas J. Donohue

Thomas J. Donohue

Thomas J. Donohue is advisor and former chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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