Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee held a hearing today on creating jobs now in America, protecting the taxpayer, and securing our energy future. The hearing emphasized actions the 112th Congress should take to create jobs, bolster the middle class, and strengthen our economy through innovation and new clean energy technologies. Below are the Leader's remarks:
"Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you all very much for joining us, weathering this bit of a storm--planes a little later, but here we are to attend to some very important business.
"I am pleased to welcome all of you to this hearing of the Steering and Policy Committee, under the leadership of our Chair, Rosa DeLauro; Congressman Ed Markey, the Ranking Member of Natural Resources Committee; Congressman Elijah Cummings, the Ranking Member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee; and Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, a leader in sustainability in the Congress. Congressman Rob Andrews, thank you for your leadership. Jared Polis, thank you for your joining us. Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, all the way from Hawaii, and the first one here I think.
"We all join together in welcoming very special witnesses here today to give their testimony on a subject that is about creating jobs now and how we can protect the taxpayer and secure our energy future.
"We are all pleased to welcome Drew Sloan, U.S. Army Veteran and Truman National Security Project Fellow; Ryan Alexander from Taxpayers for Common Sense; Deron Lovaas, National Resources Defense Council; Thomas Carnahan, Wind Capital Group.
"There are no more critical challenges facing this Congress than these two: creating jobs and reducing the deficit.
"But the Republican leadership has not only refused to tackle those challenges -- they have made them worse. In an analysis to be released today, economist Mark Zandi, who has been an advisor to Senator John McCain in his presidential race, economist Mark Zandi found that the Republicans' spending cuts will destroy 700,000 jobs. The bill that was passed in a late-night session will destroy 700,000 jobs. We have been in session about 7 weeks. Republicans are losing about 100,000 jobs a week by their own legislation, by their own legislation.
"In this hearing, we have come together to take a different path and focus on creating jobs: by identifying policies that do not make sense, especially in an era of limited resources; by making smart investments in clean energy industries that will create new jobs for America's workers. It's very exciting.
"Investing in clean energy and tackling the climate crisis has long been more than an environmental issue. It's an economic issue--it's about jobs in our country, creating good-paying clean energy jobs of the future. It's a national security issue, reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Given the events around the world, that case is made even more clear to us every day. That task is more urgent.
"For too long, we have handed huge subsidies to the "Big 5' oil companies -- increasing their profits and sending the bill to the U.S. taxpayer. And the American taxpayer has paid the price.
"For the sake of our economy and our future, we must change course now.
"In his State of the Union address, President Obama said: "Instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's.'
"Echoing that call, we are urging Republicans and Democrats to come together to: eliminate the billions we are currently sending to oil company coffers; invest federal dollars where they'll do the most good -- in jobs that cannot be outsourced; and jobs in the hands of American workers.
"From the beginning of this Congress, Democrats have said we will measure every proposal by a simple test: does it create jobs? Does it strengthen the middle class? Does it reduce the deficit?
"Today, we will hear from experts in the field and leading advocates how repealing oil subsidies and investing in clean energy will live up to that standard. Creating clean energy jobs lives up to that standard.
"We look forward to their testimony and to working together to put people to work in the clean energy jobs for the future."