Vice President Mike Pence on Friday detailed the accomplishments conservatives were able to achieve over the past two years but added there was more to be done.
President Donald Trump was elected on a populist platform that promised to give power back to the people. His agenda has included deregulatory efforts, tax cuts and the renegotiation of international trade deals. Pence told a crowd of conservatives gathered outside D.C. that a lot of that agenda has been accomplished in a call to action to finish the rest.
“It is the greatest honor of my life to serve as vice president to a president who gets up every day and fights to keep the promises he made to the American people,” Pence told the crowd. “Working with Republican majorities in Congress, in our first two years President [Donald] Trump has cut more federal red tape than any president in American history.”
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was hosting the vice president on the third day of its 2019 event. The conference runs from Wednesday to Saturday right outside of Washington, D.C.
The president is scheduled to deliver remarks on Saturday, the last day of the conference.
“We unleashed American energy and now the United States is the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world,” Pence told attendees on Friday. “Under the president’s strong leadership, we forged new trade deals that finally put American jobs and workers first and with the support of this generation of conservatives, President Trump signed the largest tax cut and tax reform in American history. That’s promises made and promises kept.”
They were able to cut the core of Obamacare, Pence added, by removing the individual mandate. That provision of the Affordable Care Act had required individuals to have health insurance — or face a tax penalty. Pence also said the administration helped bolster military funding and worked to improve veteran services and accountability.
Pence also declared that the administration will continue to stand by the men and women of law enforcement, including Border Patrol agents. He countered those on the Left and declared they will never abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“The results have been amazing,” Pence said. “As I stand before you today, the American economy is booming. In just over two years businesses large and small have created 5.3 million new jobs, including over 480,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs that the other side said would never come back. Unemployment has hit a 50-year low and more Americans are working today than ever before in the history of this country.”
Trump has overseen trends such as the employment rate and economic growth, though they were already improving as he entered office. But those trends continued to improve under this president’s watch. There’s also been a significant spike in economic confidence and a jump in capital investments.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became a major piece of that economic agenda when it became law in December 2017. The law lowered taxes for most of the income brackets, along with corporations and many small businesses.
It also simplified some parts of the tax code by reducing or eliminating certain deductions while increasing the standard deduction.
“The unemployment rate for women has hit a 55-year low,” Pence said. “The unemployment rates for Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and African-Americans have reached the lowest level ever recorded in American history. And the wages of working Americans have increased at the fastest pace in over a decade.”
Pence told the crowd there was still more to do. He echoed the president in asserting the situation at the southern border is a crisis that needs to be addressed. There is also work to be done on the international stage in reworking trade deals and diplomacy with hostile nations like North Korea. He also warned that Democrats have turned even more leftward in embracing socialist policies that have proven to be dangerous.
“Freedom works. This is what we believe. This is who we are,” Pence said. “But this is the choice we face in the next 20 months. So, men and women of CPAC, we have work to do. I came here to say thanks, to look back over my shoulder, and make sure you knew just how much we accomplished with this president and your support in just two short years. But now we have more work to do.”
Pence urged the crowd to work hard over that time with the next presidential election occurring in 2020. Trump and Pence will fight to keep the office from the Democrats. More congressional seats will also be up for grabs, which could shape the political leaning of the legislature.
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