My number one priority in Congress is creating jobs in South Florida. Florida's unemployment rate remains unacceptably high, and as a result, thousands of jobless workers are struggling to support their families. For many Americans, it seems like Wall Street has bounced back from this recession while many working families and seniors have been left behind.
The fact is, for eight years, Washington turned a blind eye to the needs of working families while irresponsibility on Wall Street resulted in the near-collapse of our economy. Eight million jobs were lost across America, and the impact of this recession cannot be understated in Florida. Responsible investors, including many seniors, lost their retirement savings. Families struggling to meet their mortgage payments lost their homes. The lost revenue resulting from high unemployment has exploded our national deficit and forced states like Florida to make painful cuts to our schools and critical services.
We must put people back to work if we want to get our fiscal house in order. That is why I support efforts in Congress to jumpstart job growth by cutting taxes for small businesses, keeping our teachers in the classroom and our police officers on the street, and investing in the renewable energy industry and our national infrastructure. We must also pass meaningful Wall Street reform that increases oversight and accountability in order to prevent another financial disaster like this recent one from happening again.
While we have a long way to go, the efforts by Democrats in Congress and President Obama to grow our economy are beginning to show signs of success. In fact, in 2010, we are on track to create more jobs than every year of the Bush Administration combined. Please feel free to read the Joint Economic Committee's latest economic snapshot of Florida. While much of this economic data indicates that small businesses are beginning to hire new workers and that our GDP is growing once again, I know that for struggling Florida families, this economy cannot turn around fast enough. That is why it is so important that Congress force ahead with continued investments in energy, infrastructure, education, and small businesses. Now is not the time to retreat from our efforts to create jobs and fully recover our economy.