- - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The blue wave. The suburban tsunami. If you’ve been watching and reading recent political coverage, there’s no doubt you’ve heard what could face the Republican Party this November. The GOP has majorities in both houses of Congress to protect, and there’s no denying it — the party faces an uphill climb.

The party that controls the White House historically loses seats every midterm election. Voters often see midterms as a referendum on the president. But so far, we have seen Republican candidates overcome this narrative. Despite national Democrats’ best efforts, Republicans have won eight out of the last nine special elections since President Trump took office. Though history is not on our side, the momentum and enthusiasm from Republican voters is nationwide, and it’s building.

Nationwide unemployment is at a near-50 year low. There are currently more job openings than there are job seekers in the United States. Families from California to Maine have felt the positive effects of our robust economic growth and increased opportunity for all. The economy has grown at its fastest rate since 2014. Republicans should double down on our policies that have delivered lower taxes and a growing economy.

But despite these economic gains for U.S. families, it still rings true that the election will be won or lost in the suburbs. Members of the Republican Main Street PartnershipMain Street” represent nearly 70 of these districts from coast to coast. There are 25 districts that Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential election that are currently represented by a Republican member of Congress — and nearly all of them are represented by Main Street’s members.

Our membership makes up over one-quarter of the House Republican Conference.

Because these men and women represent swing districts, they often provide the margin that has enabled the Republican Party not just to control the House but to hold its largest majority there in more than 80 years. This year, the path to the majority again runs right through Main Street.

That’s one of the reasons why Main Street’s members have championed and doubled down on policies and solutions that put patients first, and improve access to care and treatment for those who are facing illness, struggling with addiction or caring for aging or disabled loved ones. In January, President Trump signed into law legislation that supports the more than 40 million family members who are caring for their aging or disabled loved ones, by providing resources and training they need to balance the full-time job of caregiving.

The Right to Try Act, signed into law in May, allows terminally ill patients to access experimental treatments that could potentially prolong - or save - their lives. Most recently more than 50 bills addressing the growing opioid epidemic passed in June, aimed at reducing the over-prescription of opioid painkillers, creating better prescription guidelines for medical professionals, protecting seniors from opioid dependence and overuse, and improving access to non-addictive pain medication and treatment.

Members of Main Street also introduced a bill that protects pre-existing conditions from being stripped away from patients. It prohibits coverage denial, risk-rating, and exclusions or limitations of coverage to patients based on pre-existing conditions or any other health factor.

The policies championed by Main Street’s members also improve our national security and help keep our kids safe at school — a huge step forward and a welcome hand for parents, teachers and superintendents nationwide.

In March the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Main Street members, passed the Stop School Violence Act, and included resources in this year’s government funding bill to help identify threats and prevent violence from taking place on school grounds. By giving funding and resources to local schools, America’s superintendents, teachers and parents can determine what methods can be implemented to keep their kids safe.

Main Street members will continue to champion the solutions and policies they’ve authored and passed to improve the lives of American families. Voters are listening and expecting results — and with the help of Main Street’s leadership, the Republican Party has delivered.

• Sarah Chamberlain is the president and CEO of the Republican Main Street Partnership.


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