Weekly Columns

Jobs & the Economy

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Washington, May 30, 2012 | comments

Having just observed Memorial Day, we are reminded of the blessings of liberty and living in the land of the free.  That is why helping to create jobs and grow our economy will continue to be my focus in the weeks and months ahead. In every facet of our society – the care of our veterans, budget, health care, and energy – we are in need of policies that get folks back to work and create an atmosphere that rewards hard work and keeps government out of the way of innovation. 

Implementation of the bipartisan Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act is essential to lowering veteran unemployment. Through this legislation, discharged service members seeking a job will obtain the help they need to get a job – and not just any job, but one in which they have the training. Furthermore, if they need additional training, the VOW Act provides education and training for our veterans. Not only will veteran unemployment be lowered by legislation such as the VOW Act, but it will also aid in lowering homelessness in veteran communities.

Congress needs to focus on removing unnecessary obstacles for small businesses so that they are able to grow and create jobs.  The House has passed 27 jobs bills that the Senate has yet to consider. We are leaving so much on the table if we don’t reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and start living within our means. 

One major threat to economic growth is wasteful Washington spending.  Our country cannot get its fiscal house in order if the Senate, led by Harry Reid, can’t even pass a budget.  It has been over 1,126 days since the Senate has passed a budget.  This is simply a failure to legislate, and it is another example of Senate Democrats playing politics with hardworking taxpayer dollars. Now more than ever, hardworking American taxpayers need leadership, and that means leaders who will follow through on creating jobs and growing the economy.

We also need to address the uncertainty that President Obama’s health care law is causing for employers.  Employers are facing thousands of dollars of added costs for employees health care, and this is causing many to advance cautiously when it comes to creating new jobs.  While I am hopeful the Supreme Court will declare some or all of this law unconstitutional, Congress must finish the job by repealing the remaining parts of the law and replacing it with patient-centered reforms that help employers address the huge cost of health care.

We can put America on the path to energy independence and security by moving forward with bipartisan energy proposals that approve the Keystone pipeline project, which will create thousands of new jobs and prevent the elimination of thousands more. We need to focus on getting the government out of the way and reducing red tape. That means if we want to keep jobs here in America and prevent them from moving overseas, we need to rein in a number of regulations that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is trying to implement.

Let us honor the hard work and sacrifices of our veterans by putting the country first. That means passing legislation that reduces unnecessary regulatory burdens, addresses the cost of health care, maximizes domestic energy production and helps us start living within our means. 

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