Governors are sent by Him to punish the evildoers and praise the virtuous (1 Peter 2:14).

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[Pages S1509-S1510]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO


Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I think we were all really pleased last night to hear the President's unifying message. It was refreshing for everyone after such a difficult election season. It was great to see even my friend the Democratic leader occasionally applauding the President last night. It is a reminder that we are all in this together.

Yesterday, I laid out my hopes for his address to Congress. I said that the middle class is ready for a new direction after 8 years of disappointments. I said that we all knew what needed to get done, too-- issues like simplifying taxes to create more jobs, reforming regulations to get the economy moving, and repealing and replacing ObamaCare to bring relief to the middle class. It was great to hear the President touch on each of those issues last night.

It was also great to hear him talk about his outstanding nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch--a judge who has earned widespread acclaim and who will be a worthy successor to Justice Scalia on the High Court.

Last night President Trump talked about a new spirit of optimism in our country. He talked about repositioning us for success, both at home and in a dangerous world. He talked about growing opportunity, better jobs, and a thriving middle class. Then, he actually put forward policies that could get us there. What a change from the last 8 years.

He also outlined some of the actions he has already taken to move these priorities forward. For instance, he took action yesterday to send the so-called waters of the United States rule back to the drawing board. He demonstrated that there are realistic ways to protect our Nation's waterways without excessive and duplicative regulations that infringe on the property rights of individuals.

Let me again commend him for protecting the middle class from yet another regulation based more on ideology than fact. It is just the type of thing Americans are so tired of--leftwing regulations spun as one thing, but that really do another; left-leaning laws that purport to help the middle class, but that actually hurt middle-class families.

A great example of that is ObamaCare. Americans were promised that costs would go down, but, of course, they went up. Americans were promised more choice, but they got less. Americans were promised that they could keep their plans, but that was a broken promise as well.

No wonder Americans were so tired of what they have seen over the last 8 years. They are ready for something entirely new. They are ready to start believing in the future again. The President made clear last night that he is ready to work with Congress on policies that can actually move us forward. He will find many partners in Congress excited to get those things accomplished.

We share his commitment on other issues he outlined too. We agree that our children deserve better than failing schools. We agree that our veterans deserve better than failing bureaucracy. We agree that our brothers and mothers and friends and neighbors deserve better than the scourge of heroin and prescription opioid abuse.

In an era of divided government, Congress took what action we could on those issues. It was often significant action, and we are all proud of it. But we now have a chance to achieve even more. So, of course, we are excited about the opportunity to improve the lives of the men and women who sent us here. That is why we all signed up for this job in the first place.

I am not just talking about Republicans. I know our Democratic friends have different ideas than us on many of these things. I know the far left is pressuring them to burn the place down because it can't accept the results of last year's election. But everyone knows that won't get us anywhere at all.

Let's remember that we have a historic opportunity before us. We can [[Page S1510]] keep refighting the last election over and over and over, or we can heed the President's message of unity last night. We can come together to accomplish big things. We can pull down the barriers of the past. We can uphold, in the words of the Democratic leader himself, our “moral obligation” to “avoid gridlock and get the country to work again.”

Now, I know he said that just before the election. I know he hoped the election would turn out differently. But we each have a duty to accept the results. We each have a duty to bring the country together and to move it forward. That is now the challenge before our Democratic friends.

I ask them to meet the moment--to meet the moment. I hope they will because the American people are counting on us all. They are ready for a new start. We are determined to work hard on their behalf. As the President himself said last night, so is he.

I suggest the absence of a quorum.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.

The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. ____________________

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