By Kevin Brady
President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch, made his presence known as the Supreme Court handed down two decisive rulings that strengthened religious freedom and national security — two Trump administration priorities.
The state of Missouri had denied available public funds for playground improvement to Trinity Lutheran Church, solely on the basis that it is a religious institution. The Supreme Court ruled that Missouri violated the First Amendment’s Free Exercise of religion clause when it denied the church these funds. This is a major victory for religious liberty.
In a ruling on President Trump’s Immigration Order, the Supreme Court rightly separated the law from the mainstream media’s sensationalized rhetoric. Activist judges had pushed their own agenda instead of examining the Constitutional basis of the actual law. The Supreme Court concluded that the president’s order was within his Constitutional powers, and allowed parts of President Trump’s Immigration Order to go into effect, confirming what you and I already knew — that President Trump has the authority to act on national security measures.
The Court’s decision gives President Trump the authority to strengthen the vetting process, to secure our borders and protect our country from those who may wish to do us harm.
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Farmers, ranchers and landowners got some welcome news from the White House: the beginning of the end of the Waters of the United States rule, or WOTUS for short. This Obama-era EPA regulation greatly expanded federal control over local water. The rule is so broad that even farm ponds and ditches could fall under the EPA’s jurisdiction. WOTUS threatened farmers, ranchers, and landowners across Texas with endless red tape and Washington-first bureaucracy, putting their livelihoods at risk.
From day one, I worked with my colleagues in Congress to repeal WOTUS and put farmers and ranchers back in control of their land. Fortunately, President Trump has begun the process to roll back WOTUS giving farmers, ranchers and landowners everywhere relief from this overly intrusive regulation.
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This past week, House Republicans passed the Protecting Access to Care Act, delivering on our promise to help make health care more affordable and more accessible for all Americans. The Act reforms medical litigation laws in order to reduce the costly practice of defensive medicine, and save taxpayers billions of dollars while increasing access to health care.
The bill’s conservative reforms include a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages; limits on the contingency fees lawyers can charge to maximize patient recovery; and a fair share rule, by which damages are allocated in direct proportion to fault. These reforms will save taxpayers over $50 billion according to the Congressional Budget Office.
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This Fourth of July week, there are hundreds of thousands of American military personnel deployed overseas. Every day, these brave men and women put themselves in harm’s way so that we can live the American Dream.
To each of the men and women who are away from home today, fighting to keep us safe; we are so thankful for all that you sacrifice for us. We pray that wherever you are serving, you have a safe and happy celebration of America’s Independence.
U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady chairs the House Ways and Means Committee.