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Reflections on 2016, Resolutions for 2017

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

In 2016, the American people voted to change the direction of our country. They elected a new president and vice president. They returned Republican majorities to Congress with a two-year probation period to show we can deliver results.

This election cycle and its outcome were a loud message to the Washington establishment. In 2017, it’s my resolution to continue working to ensure that message translates into real results.

That means keeping our promises and making tough decisions.

For the last seven years, Georgians and Americans across the country struggled to cope with the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. It’s time for bold changes that will get our economy growing again, and get Americans working again. The policy prescriptions of the Obama years failed.

President-elect Donald J. Trump’s first 100 days in office are an enormous moment of opportunity to begin turning the page.

We need to put patients in charge of their health care choices with a free-market solution that increases access and lowers the overall spiraling costs of health care, which Obamacare did nothing to address.

We need to undo the regulatory regime and scale back the power of unelected bureaucrats. Let’s start with the EPA’s onerous Waters of the U.S. Act and Clean Power Plan, things we know are crushing farmers, land owners, and small businesses right here in Georgia.

We need to begin dramatically reforming and simplifying our tax code. We can start by doing away with the repatriation tax, which has locked trillions of dollars in overseas profits out of our economy.

We also finally need to unleash our full domestic energy potential, starting with simply approving the Keystone XL Pipeline, something both President-elect Trump and the Republican majorities in Congress support.

Both political parties are to blame for both the crisis we face today and Washington’s lack of results. The lessons of 2016, and the failures of the last seven years, must not be forgotten in 2017.

In 2017, politicians in Washington must be ready to say, “we cannot afford it.” The national debt surpassed $19 trillion earlier this year. Unless we change course, it will rise to nearly $30 trillion over the next decade. The debt crisis is here, and we must not wait any longer to acknowledge and deal with that economic reality.

In 2017, we have to restore America’s role as a global leader. President Obama’s failed foreign policy created a void of American leadership. Largely as a result, the world is more dangerous than it has ever been in my lifetime. We have to develop a real strategy to defeat ISIS and deal with the multitude of threats we face from all corners of the globe.

In 2017, we need to advance conservative ideas and principles. We will nominate and confirm a judge to the Supreme Court. Whomever he or she will be, they must stand steadfast in support of the United States Constitution and our Founding Principles of economic opportunity, fiscal responsibility, limited government, and individual liberty.

This is not about securing the legacy of another career politician. The American people demanded real change in the way Washington does business. Come January, an outsider businessman who is listening to the people will be in the White House.

That’s just the first step. President-elect Trump is surrounding himself with a dream team of policy experts, many of whom have spent their careers outside of the Washington bubble.

You elected me to do all I can to change the direction of our country. Working with President-elect Trump and his capable team, we now have an enormous moment of opportunity to really begin doing so. I’m excited to get to work.

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