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The Hill: We Stand Ready to Work with President Obama & the Senate

January 25, 2013
Opinion Editorial

As we near President Obama's State of the Union address this year, I am hopeful to hear real job-creating solutions from him concerning the economy.   Last year I was optimistic after hearing his agenda—cutting down on regulations, streamlining government spending and working with Congress. Yet a year later I have yet to see these promises fulfilled. In his address last year, President Obama remarked, "What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether can work together tomorrow". 

The last 12 months have shown the president that House Republicans are committed to spur job creation and get the economy back on track with the passage of more than 30 job creating measures that allow Americans can do what they do best: create, innovate and lead. I and many of my House colleagues stand ready to work with the president and Senate on passing bipartisan pieces of legislation to help our job creators and economy get back on track. There are significant, bold policy proposals that have passed the House with bipartisan support and I hope the president will agree to come to the table so we can make progress for the American people.

Spending and Taxes- For too long the federal government has recklessly spent taxpayer dollars with little thought of its consequences.  This trend is not sustainable and we must stop spending money we don't have.  American families across the country with tight budgets understand this; it's time the government did the same. In July, the House passed H.R. 2560, the Cut, Cap & Balance Act which would cut almost $6 trillion over the next ten years and required a vote on a balanced budget amendment. This legislation shows that House Republicans are serious about reining in government spending. The Senate, however, shot down the bill with Majority Leader Harry Reid announcing it as "over, done and dead".

Jobs- We know government cannot create jobs; instead it must allow businesses to acquire the tools they need to grow and hire more workers as they expand. Last year I was disappointed with the Senate's refusal to pass H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creator Act. The legislation would have prevented a tax increase on middle class families, preserve access to Medicare, and encourage job creation. It also passed with bipartisan support in the House but the Senate was quick to shut it down. Instead, it sent back a short-term deal which leaves families and businesses with even more uncertainty about their taxes.

Regulations- Small business owners can also be dragged down by costly, burdensome regulations imposed on them from Washington. Crazy regulations cost jobs.  Last year I was glad to hear President Obama promise Congress that, "To reduce barriers to growth and investment, I've ordered a review of government regulations. When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them." The House wasted no time on this task, passing a string of bills to reform these job-killing regulations. H.R. 1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, would block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating particulate matter in rural areas where state dust laws are already in effect. This is just one of the many regulatory reform bills that the Senate has not even looked at.  More broadly, the House passed H.R. 10, the REINS Act, which will prevent Washington bureaucrats from unilaterally imposing costly regulations without the approval of Congress.

Health Care - Lastly, it is time for the president to recognize the failure of his trillion dollar stimulus and health care takeover. I am proud to have been an original cosponsor of H.R. 2, the Repeal the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act raised health care costs and create burdensome mandates and regulations for hard working families and businesses. But don't just take my word for it, according to a recent poll taken by the U.S Chamber of Commerce 74% of small business owners say the new law is discouraging them from creating jobs.

We cannot wait for a different landscape to do what needs to be done for our economy and job situation. In the last 12 months the House has been busy passing dozens of jobs bills, reforming harmful regulations, cutting spending and working on creating an environment where businesses can thrive again.  A year later we ask the president and Senate to join us in this task.

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