It's been an exciting few days--both for Utah and the nation. On Monday, I accompanied the President on his visit to Salt Lake, where he announced his decision to scale back the national monuments at Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. This long-awaited executive order was the culmination of months of hard work and close coordination with the White House, and it all started when I met with the President in the Oval Office back in January. During the President's first week on the job, I asked for his help in fixing the disaster at Bears Ears--and boy, did he come through.
The President's action reins in decades of federal overreach and gives Utahns a much-needed voice in the debate over public lands. As I stood by the President during Monday'ssigning ceremony, I was humbled when he formally recognized my leadership on this issue by giving me the same pen he used to sign the executive order. For years, we have been fighting against federal overreach, and this week, we scored a significant victory.
Of course, Monday wasn't all Bears Ears. We were also able to set politics aside during a special visit to Salt Lake City's Welfare Square. There, I introduced the President to LDS leaders, who explained the ins and outs of the church's humanitarian program. The President was blown away by the sheer magnitude of the church's humanitarian efforts, and he even said that the highlight of his trip was pushing a shopping cart through the Bishop's Storehouse to fill a food order.
The President's visit was a big win for our state, and it came on the heels of the biggest legislative victory of the year: comprehensive tax reform. Last weekend, the Senate passed my proposal to overhaul our outdated tax code. Almost immediately, Utah's families will reap the benefits of my tax bill in the form of higher deductions and bigger paychecks. Parents with children, for example, will be happy to hear that my bill expands the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000. An expansion of this magnitude will result in thousands of dollars in savings for Utah families each year.
After returning to Washington, I was able to again reconnect with Utahns when I hosted an Access Live Event on Wednesday, in which I gave listeners an overview of this year's greatest legislative accomplishments [the text above is actually a transcript taken from this conversation]. In addition, I was able to answer your questions regarding North Korea, the new tax plan, and funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program.
This year, we have achieved great things for Utah--and in the following year, I expect to achieve many more.