Making the Lame Duck Session Count


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Making the Lame Duck Session Count

USA – -( Now that the midterms are over, Republicans have a short amount of time to accomplish a great deal. This is their last stretch of having full control of the Congress, and they should work with President Trump to take full advantage.

First, Republicans must pass the remaining appropriation bills, including spending bills for Homeland Security and agriculture. There will doubtlessly be Democrat attempts to stall or block conservative measures in these remaining spending bills, but leadership must insist on including them. It is very unlikely that Senator Chuck Schumer will want to start the 2020 presidential cycle by shutting the government down.

Second, Republicans have an opportunity this year to block a job-killing, innovation-halting, health care cost-increasing tax hike. If Congress doesn’t do something to stop it, the tax increase on medical devices, which was born out of Obamacare and has been temporarily halted by Congress twice due to its destructive consequences, will go into effect.

From 2013 to 2015, the years this tax increase was in effect, the medical device industry in America lost 28,800 jobs, while in the first year alone, investment in industry research and development fell by $34 million. (This is largely because of the way the tax is structured and the complex, competitive nature of the health care market. Companies can’t directly pass the tax on to consumers, so they must carve the cost out of salaries, innovation, and investment.) Further, it taxes 2.3 percent of revenue (rather than profit or quantity) made from selling a variety of different medical devices. This means that if a small company selling these devices doesn’t even make a profit for the year, they still must pay the tax increase. Weakening or killing small, innovative entrepreneurial startups hurts the economy and slows needed improvements in health care.

This tax increase is overwhelmingly opposed by members of Congress. In July, the House passed a measure to repeal the tax 283-132 – with 57 Democrats joining Republicans to kill this horrible tax. However, parliamentary maneuverings seem to have bottled up efforts to stop the tax increase in the Senate.

Since Democrats tend to like higher taxes, it is unlikely Nancy Pelosi will allow another vote on this in the House when she reclaims the speaker’s gavel next session. The time to act is now.

Third, Republicans have an opportunity to prove the media and the Left wrong, by passing the FIRST STEP Act – a bipartisan bill to reform our broken federal prison system. This bill follows the examples of states like, Georgia and Texas, which have all passed important reforms to reduce both crime and prison populations.

Among many other things, the FIRST STEP act would create a system by which every incoming federal prisoner would be assessed for their needs and risks and given the opportunity to participate in job training, faith-based activities, or other educational programs tailored to reducing the likelihood the inmate will return to crime upon release.

For those who enter the prison system addicted to drugs, the bill would instruct the Bureau of Prisons to develop a plan to actually help them get healthy – this importantly includes medication-assisted treatment for inmates addicted to opioids.

The prison system we have now is indisputably broken. There are more than 2 million Americans in state or federal prison right now. Further, 2.7 million children in the United States have parents who are locked up. Seventy-seven percent of those prisoners who are released are re-arrested within five years. No one can claim a system with a 77 percent failure rate is working. And the fact that we are spending $80 billion a year to support this failing system is an absurdity.

The FIRST STEP Act has passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 360-59, with 134 Democrats signed on to it. This is largely because the American people want these reforms. They instinctively know that people who are addicted to drugs or simply born into a violent life with limited options, will be less likely to commit crimes if they can do something better.

Republicans must pass this bill before the end of the year.

These achievements would guarantee a very successful lame-duck session.

Your Friend,

Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich

P.S. My new book, Trump's America: The Truth About Our Nation's Great Comeback is out and available for order.

About Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich is well-known as the architect of the “Contract with America” that led the Republican Party to victory in 1994 by capturing the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in forty years. After he was elected Speaker, he disrupted the status quo by moving power out of Washington and back to the American people.

Gingrich Productions is a performance and production company featuring the work of Newt Gingrich and Callista Gingrich. Visit :

  • 14 thoughts on “Making the Lame Duck Session Count

    1. The sad, sad truth is he is done, our President, this miracle on 34th/st. He’s over, finished. They have him in a box and he doesn’t realize it. He hasn’t realized it yet. He needs bold, decisive action, daring, but he is a NYC real estate developer whose strong suit is common sense. It won’t be enough to sustain him.

      Populist rallies won’t expand his base. Systemic reform and recapturing the news cycle with substantive actions will. Unfortunately, no one is giving him this message. If he continues on this current path for another 6 months I predict he will be done, too far gone to turn around, past the point of no return. It breaks my heart.

    2. Republicans MUST pass the National Reciprocity bill that has already been approved in the House! Sure the above is important but so is repealing Obamacare and having another real win, if these lame asses want to be re-elected or have a chance putting Trump up for another term.


      This is a FIREARMS newsfeed. This article is COMPLETELY irrelevant to the focus of this feed.

      That’s ten minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

      1. Wow! 10 minutes! You must be a very slow reader!
        This article does have relevance because what Newt has written about does, or will at the least, have an impact (positive or negative) on the lives of all Americans. Gun owners and non gun owners.
        It’s called edification. (You may have to look the meaning of this word up!)

      2. @Bob S, Slow down there, brother. Newt is telling you that the Nat. Reciprocity Act has been approved by the House, already. If we push our senators, now, and hard, we could get this passed.

        1. Such a bill is entirely not important! The one proposed leaves all of the individual state infringements in place, other than you can carry, at least SOMEWHERE that they may still “allow” – expect many restrictions to be passed in the various socialist states before the federal bill goes into effect.

          The biggest reason that the national reciprocity bill is not needed is found in the Constitution itself: the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 10th, and 14th Amendments AND Article 4 sections 1 (all states must honor all licenses, permits and legal acts of each of the other states; your Drivers License, for example) and 2 (section 2 declares that if certain states have rights, privileges and immunities that your state does not, then you share them while in their state as if you were a citizen of that state.. That SHOULD take care of things it the Constitution is honored and follwed. (But we know how that’s been going . . . . )

    4. “How about passing national CC reciprocity first? Then the hearing safe act? Won’t have much of a chance in the next two years otherwise.”

      This!!! The 2nd Amendment fight is what got President Trump elected if not many of the Republicans currently in office. It’s about damn time they came through. I WANT my gun and suppressor rights, right now! Stripping down the NFA is long, LONG over due. Hell, we are behind all the gun banning nations in allowing (some REQUIRING) free suppressor use. That is sad to say the least.

      1. We ALREADY HAVE national reciprocity – it is found in the U.S. Constitution, Article 4, Section 1. (Besides the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 10th and 14th Amendments.) Why would I include the 1st, you might ask? Because your exercise of ALL of your liberties as a free man (individual) is an expression of your independence and sovereignty and, therefore, IS a form of speech.

        1. I concur. As long as you are willing to go broke defending yourself against a government that has virtually unlimited lawyers and resources.

          Much of our legal system has been founded on the old English concept of precedence. Since there are a ton of legal challenges that have all said it is within a state’s right to control who carries concealed and how, until the Supreme Court issues an opinion such as yours, you can ignore the laws at your peril (due to your beliefs) and perhaps you’ll be the test case.

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