AP NEWS

Exciting new year awaits us in 2017

December 26, 2016 GMT

It seems unbelievable, but 44 years ago this week the last human walked on the moon. Commander Gene Cernan with the Apollo 17 mission left his footprints on the lunar surface – and no one has returned in almost half a century.

This milestone reminds us that America’s history is replete with remarkable achievements. And it reminds us what our nation is capable of when we set our mind to it. As we enter the season of celebration of the birth of Jesus, it is the perfect opportunity to start fresh – to come together to heal our divided nation, and to begin thinking bigger and bolder about America’s future.

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While Congress was recessed for the holidays, I brought my Ways & Means Committee back to Washington to continue our work on fixing America’s costly, complex tax code and replacing the failing ObamaCare experiment. Meeting in the Library of Congress, we worked to finalize the details of our GOP Built-for-Growth tax reform plan. We also worked through the key parts of our plan to replace President Obama’s Affordable Care Act with modern, affordable health care that is tailored to what patients and local businesses need – not what Washington needs.

I am working closely with the Trump transition team on these issues and more. We are determined to have these solutions ready when the new President announces his first 100 days agenda to get America back on the right track again.

This is a time of excitement for Americans who have given up hope of finding full time work – or any work for that matter – in this disappointing economy. And with health experts from both political parties admitting that ObamaCare is simply not fixable, it’s time for Republicans and Democrats in Congress to work together to offer health care that finally meets the needs of Americans in the 21st Century.

Since the election I’ve had to repeatedly knock down the left’s latest ’big lie” – that 20 million Americans will soon be kicked off their ACA plans. Nothing could be further from the truth. Unlike ObamaCare which forced millions of Americans off the plans they liked and wanted to keep, Republicans are offering peace of mind and a comfortable, appropriate transition period for those who need continuous health care and for those eager for health care that is more than simply an insurance card of little value. Stay tuned for details.

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But before we can take on the New Year, let us all take time with our families to celebrate the miracles of the Christmas season.

Our Savior’s birth is the ultimate reminder that miracles happen and often when we don’t expect them. It can be a time of great joy with our friends and family. It can also be a time of deep loneliness for those who have lost loved ones or who are burdened by life’s struggles.

This Christmas look around you – at the parent who may not have the means to put Christmas presents under the tree for the kids, the veteran who is struggling with the post-traumatic stress of war, the senior citizen whose family is far away or the neighbor new to the community who may not yet have friends to celebrate with. Our compassion for one another, and our individual actions to help, is what makes our nation – and our community – great.

This turbulent world is far from a perfect place. But as the Bible inspires us in Colossians 3:14 “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

May God bless you and may God continue to bless America.