Almost a year ago to the day, our country voted to shake up Washington and gave Republicans an opportunity to bring change to a broken system.
We are 10 months into 2017, and House Republicans have taken aggressive action to improve the country. From eliminating job-killing regulations to enacting tough sanctions against some of our toughest foreign adversaries, Republicans delivered on key promises.
Now tax reform is on the horizon, and for the first time in more than 30 years, hardworking Americans will see transformative changes that make our tax code simpler and fairer so the middle class finally gets more money in their pockets. In 2018, the economy and jobs will again be at the forefront, and Republicans have demonstrated a superior ability to connect with voters over these shared concerns.
The last several election cycles have been defined by a common theme — House Democrats across the country — led by Nancy Pelosi — lurching to the activist left and embracing policies that maintain the status quo. First came the stimulus, then Obamacare. Now Pelosi and Bernie Sanders are rushing to embrace single-payer healthcare — a top-down government run system that will dictate your doctor, hospital, and prescriptions.
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Republicans, on the other hand, are listening to you: the voters they represent and live among. Our historic majorities in the House were not brought about by accident. It is, in large part, due to the bevy of well-regarded candidates in both rural and suburban districts that ran campaigns based not on cable news chatter or the outrage du jour on Twitter, but on the actual concerns voters care about.
And now, a new crop of candidates, with the same deep connections to their districts, are ready to mount competitive campaigns in 2018. Many of these districts exist in areas long forgotten by the Democratic Party, made up of towns that will never be confused with the booming metropolises that Pelosi and other liberals are more comfortable visiting. This is where the Republican message thrives.
In these districts, it is not about finding one specific type of candidate — it is about finding the right candidate that fits each district. Unlike Democrats, whose policies come from Pelosi and Bernie Sanders and meddle in primaries to advance their establishment candidates, we believe you should chose who speaks for you in Congress.
There is no top-down approach, no one-size-fits-all method that will ever ensure candidates favored by Washington win elections. Democrats always think they know best, whether it is putting the government in control of your healthcare and our economy or which candidates should be their party’s nominees.
For Republicans, it is about finding candidates who understand what voters care about, who have a message that resonates, and who have the resolve to carry out the people’s work once elected. It is about trusting people to make their own decisions. The primary process is where the cream rises to the top, and Republican primary voters have done a tremendous job nominating the right candidates.
Today, the formidable Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representative is a testament to that process. And with a year to go, Republicans are primed for another historic election.
Rep. Steve Stivers, of Ohio, is chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.