President Donald J. Trump hosted his ninth and final Cabinet meeting of 2017. The President highlighted record achievements over the past year and commended the Cabinet for their dedication to serving the American people.
Before the meeting, each Cabinet member provided a brief overview of agency accomplishments and goals for the year ahead. The summation marks a year of tremendous progress in moving the President’s America First agenda forward and shows the commitment across the Executive Branch to save taxpayer dollars and create jobs and security for the American people.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson credited the President’s America First foreign policy for strengthening commitments to fight terrorism and gaining new strategic and economic cooperation around the globe.
Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin hailed the President’s leadership on passage of comprehensive tax reform, which will create jobs, raise wages, and fuel the American economy. Secretary Mnuchin said, “Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, we are cutting taxes for hardworking Americans and their families. We will make American businesses more competitive through tax and regulatory reform. We will protect our national and economic security by fighting illicit financial activities. Treasury is proud to play a key role in these efforts to ensure a more prosperous, secure future for the American people.”
Department of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis gave President Trump high marks for his National Security Strategy, which puts the safety and security of America first. Secretary Mattis also shared an update on the U.S. Military’s success in defeating ISIS around the world.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions reported on the reduction of violent crime, efforts to combat the opioid crisis, ending sanctuary jurisdiction policies, and prioritizing criminal immigration enforcement.
Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced that the United States has opened 150,000 acres of public land to hunting and fishing and that the United States has increased our energy revenue disbursements to States, tribes, and local communities by more than $1 billion. Secretary Zinke said, “In the first year of the Trump Administration, Interior restored the local voice in the conversation about Federal land management across the West. We are reorganizing the department to better serve the taxpayer and are continuing to rebuild hurricane-ravaged communities in Texas, Puerto Rico, Florida, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”
Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, “The people of the heartland and rural America have simply been wanting their government to hear their concerns. President Trump has shown that he is listening and serving as their voice. America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers are a priority again, as we open up new foreign markets to U.S. agricultural products, free the agricultural economy from bureaucratic red tape, and focus on increasing prosperity across all of rural America.”
Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross highlighted the more than $650 billion in deals signed during the President’s trips to Saudi Arabia and China. He also reported on progress made in enforcing U.S. trade laws including the initiation of 79 investigations into unfair trade practices.
Department of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta credited the President’s policies for the lowest unemployment rate in 17 years and highlighted the department’s role in providing greater access to health care for Americans through Associated Health Plans and Small Business Plans.
Department of Health and Human Services Acting Secretary Eric Harganreported that the agency had achieved $3.2 billion in savings for seniors over the next ten years. Acting Secretary Hargan said, “The Department of Health and Human Services has responded to the President’s call to action on a range of issues, from combating the opioid crisis and protecting conscience rights of Americans, to addressing the cost of prescription drugs and making American healthcare higher quality and more affordable. The President’s ambition and vision have been invaluable to our efforts to support healthier Americans, stronger communities, and a safer country.”
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson said, “We are helping HUD-assisted households ascend the ladder of opportunity so they can achieve self-sufficiency. HUD’s work and the President’s leadership in providing those in vulnerable communities with the tools to achieve their American Dream fulfill the President’s vow that the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”
Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao discussed the substantial progress the department has made in reforming regulations and removing unnecessary burdens for infrastructure projects to support efficiency and economic growth.
Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry reported that coal exports are expected to end the year 46 percent higher than in 2016. Secretary Perry said, “America is in the midst of a tremendous energy revolution. Thanks to American innovation and President Trump’s leadership on deregulation, we are now producing energy that is cleaner and more abundant than ever before. And because we are breaking down trade barriers and sharing our abundance with the world, America will soon become a net energy exporter for the first time since 1970.”
Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos focused on empowering local schools by reducing the regulatory burden and rescinded more than 600 pieces of outdated sub-regulatory guidance.
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin commended the President’s commitment to the Nation’s veterans and cited a long list of results including the implementation of numerous bills, proclamations, and Executive Orders that improve care and services throughout the VA.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said, “The Department of Homeland Security has played a prominent role in implementing President Trump’s security-guided agenda. We have focused on securing our borders and enforcing existing immigration laws while working with Congress to achieve the President’s immigration priorities. DHS also quickly responded during the historic hurricane season, which affected roughly 25.8 million people, and continues to respond to the devastating western wildfires. We have taken bold steps to more assertively manage national risk and protect critical infrastructure, including directing the removal of nation-state actor affiliated software from government systems. The policies put in place by this administration have made our Nation more secure.”
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt reported that the agency had finalized 16 deregulatory actions that saved the American people $306 million in regulatory costs.
United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said, “In just one year, President Trump is actually delivering what former politicians only talked about: trade that benefits Americans first. President Trump is combatting bad trade deals and unfair trade practices and replacing them with free, fair, and reciprocal trade for all Americans.”
Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon focused on American jobs and reported that total lending in 2017 to small businesses exceeded $30 billion, which created more than 650,000 jobs this year.