When members of Congress go off to their respective home states and districts it's not to vacation. They meet with constituents, local officials, and business leaders to make sure they’re representing them in Washington.
Members of Congress are sure to get an earful on a host of issues, but here are the top priorities they should be thinking while they’re away.
Keeping the Government Open
Priority one is making sure the government doesn’t shut down. The current federal funding bill will expire on April 28. A shutdown would create the kind of uncertainty that is no good for businesses or an economy that needs certainty when investing and hiring.
Surveys have shown an upswing in positive business sentiment. An unnecessary government shut down could reverse that feeling and increase public distrust with Washington, which would make achieving other policy priorities that much harder for the rest of 2017.
Health Care Reform
Important pieces of legislation rarely take a straight line through Congress. Health care reform is no exception. No one should get frustrated. Congress and the administration need to keep working to fix our healthcare system. We have an obligation to repeal the harmful taxes--the Health Insurance Tax, the Cadillac Tax, and the medical device tax—and remove costly and ineffective mandates. Also, Congress and the administration should not do anything that puts people’s health coverage in jeopardy while reform is negotiated.
Pro-Growth Tax Reform
This year is the best opportunity in years to reform our tax code into one that better rewards saving, investing, and innovating that produces economic growth, jobs, and higher wages. As Caroline Harris, chief tax council for the U.S. Chamber, said on Bloomberg TV:
We want pro-growth, comprehensive tax reform. We want lower rates for all businesses—big or small. We want an internationally-competitive system. And we want certainty. Businesses want certainty.
Everyone agrees America’s infrastructure needs serious repair, and modernizing America’s infrastructure is on everyone’s to-do list. This is great. Business need dependable infrastructure to move goods and services and families and workers want the same--to get to work, school, and play with a little less stress.
President Trump and Congress need to find a long-term, sustainable funding source to ensure our roads, bridges, highways, airports, and more can support a 21st Century economy. This is a great opportunity to push for more regulatory reform so we can build projects faster.