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Arlington, VA – Today, Americans for Prosperity is releasing “Empowering People, Emerging Stronger,” a five-point legislative roadmap for lawmakers from both Parties and the Biden administration focused on solutions to some of the most important issues facing Americans in 2022.
Much of Washington is completely disconnected from the real challenges facing American families and businesses: runaway inflation, major workforce and supply chain issues, missteps in addressing some of the most predictable elements of the pandemic, and a hopelessly broken immigration and border security system.
There is also across-the-spectrum realization that the so-called “Build Back Better” plan doesn’t just fail to address those problems, it will make them worse.
“There has never been a wider disconnect between what Washington politicians are saying and doing versus what’s on the mind of Americans on Main Street across this country,” said AFP Chief Government Affairs Officer Brent Gardner. “This agenda of empowerment puts Americans in the best position to succeed by removing the barriers standing in their way. It is clear to anyone paying attention that Washington’s spend first, ask questions later approach isn’t working. Empowering People, Emerging Stronger represents a better way forward.”
The five policy areas addressed in the AFP agenda, with legislative specifics viewable in the detailed document: Empowering People, Emerging Stronger.
Common-sense measures to strengthen the economy. Washington is standing in the way of robust economic growth with reckless spending and tax policies that create uncertainty for workers and employers alike. Congress should make permanent the tax cuts that sparked economic growth; eliminate “extenders” loopholes for special interests; and end harmful government shutdown threats with automatic continuing resolutions and debt-limit increases if certain benchmarks that improve fiscal responsibility are met. Congress should also pass several existing bills that would get people back to work and meet consumer supply chain needs in the changing economy.
Leave legislating to the legislative branch. Go-it-alone lawmaking through executive order or administrative action has created bad policy under administrations of both parties. With limited input from Congress, overreaching policies have gradually swelled, with disastrous economic results that stifle economic growth, choke off access to capital, drive up housing costs, and lead to poor or uneven enforcement and mass confusion – – in addition to violating the proper role of the executive branch in our government.
Expand personal options for health care. The lesson of the pandemic is that American health care is the best in the world when we unleash private-sector innovation and remove barriers between patients and the medical professionals they trust. To strengthen our future resilience and save lives, Congress should make the pandemic waivers permanent and repeal needless rules and mandates in favor of competition, innovation, and consumer empowerment – the only sure way to simultaneously reduce costs, expand access, and improve quality.
Restore state authority over cannabis. America spends $6 billion annually on cannabis prohibition but neither cannabis use nor the black-market have been significantly impacted. Prohibition shifts police resources away from its core mission of solving and preventing property and violent crime – leaving too many victims without justice and jeopardizing public safety. Today, 18 states allow adults to use marijuana, and 36 states have a medical marijuana program, but the federal government continues to arbitrarily enforce federal cannabis prohibition.
Modernize the immigration system. The U.S. immigration system is broken and must be fixed. Those who are searching for opportunities to contribute and responsive to the demand of U.S. families and businesses should be able to navigate the system and come here legally. The legal immigration system must also be paired with border security reforms that increase personnel in understaffed areas, update malfunctioning security technology, and fix incentives in our asylum system. Such solutions are overdue and continue to be held up by partisanship. A solution for Dreamers must be included.
“Fortunately, there are bills that have already been introduced that would have an immediate positive impact on Americans’ lives – and Congress’ poll numbers,” Gardner said. “This agenda is a starting point toward real progress on the real problems of the moment. As always, AFP will continue to monitor the policy landscape, and broaden and evolve our legislative priorities as new and shifting challenges confront America.”
Click here to view details of the AFP’s legislative plan.