As my first year of serving Hoosiers in the U.S. Senate comes to an end, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the past year of getting results for the people of our great state. This year, I traveled to all 92 counties speaking to Hoosiers about the issues that are most important to them.
I spent the last 37 years of my life building my business, watching politicians in Washington with no clue what it was like in the real world. I ran for office because I was fed up with business as usual in D.C., where those who are elected to serve are bought and paid for by special interests and are so out of touch with their constituents.
The Swamp is worse than I thought. Bogged down with partisan games, getting anything done here is like pulling teeth. I promised Hoosiers that I would go to Washington and fight for them and get results. This past year, I fought hard to implement a common-sense approach to help President Trump pass an America First and Hoosier First agenda.
Since President Trump’s election, we’ve had a red-hot economy. Every new Jobs Report continues to show the positive effects of President Trump’s pro-growth agenda. Indiana is benefiting directly from these policies with record unemployment, more jobs available than we can fill, and more money in the pockets of hardworking Hoosiers.
Lowering the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs has been my top priority since coming to the Senate. This year, I was proud to introduce a slate of bills that take on the pharmaceutical companies, would lower the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, and demand transparency in the market. In November, President Trump took executive action to force hospitals and insurance companies to disclose their secret negotiated rates and publicize their cost. This executive action mirrors my True Price Act and is a big win for all Americans.
One promise I immediately set to keeping is to make Washington, D.C. work more like the real world. My first bill, “No Budget, No Pay” would withhold paychecks from Congress if they fail to do their most basic job of making a budget each year. Every business and family makes a budget, and if Congress can’t handle that basic step toward financial sanity, they shouldn’t get paid.
One of my other ideas to drain the swamp recently passed the Senate, which would allow members of Congress to opt-out of their taxpayer funded pensions. I believe too many people get nestled in to the D.C. swamp because of the pay and the perks. I’ve already pledged not to accept my congressional pension, and making them optional will be a big first step toward getting rid of these perks entirely. Along with term limits and banning Congressmen and Senators from becoming lobbyists, these ideas will help drain the swamp and get Washington working for us again.
Back in Indiana, I am proud of all that my office has accomplished this year. My team has worked tirelessly to ensure Hoosier veterans who have fought on behalf of our country finally receive the medals they rightfully deserve. My team has been available across the state at mobile office hours to assist any Hoosier with an issue or concern and will continue to do so.
There is a lot to get done. While partisan politics continues to plague this place, I will work even harder to fight for every individual in our state. This past year serving you in the U.S. Senate has been one of the highest honors of my life, and I look forward to accomplishing a great deal on behalf of our state and country in 2020.