While the national unemployment rate has improved slightly, millions of Americans continue to struggle to find work. The only way to help these individuals and our economy recover is to tear down barriers to job creation and get Washington out of the way.
I am committed to finding real solutions to address our nation's unemployment crisis. The first thing we must do is rein in skyrocketing deficit spending that discourages investment and threatens to bankrupt our nation. This will strengthen the dollar, control inflation and hold down interest rates, which affect the affordability of loans for our small businesses. That's why I have introduced bipartisan legislation that would amend the U.S. Constitution to force Congress to balance the federal budget, ensuring that future governments live within their means.
Additionally, our inability to set a national energy policy is affecting all Americans and sucking the lifeblood out of our economy. It is a major long term contributor to the economic instability we are currently experiencing. The Congress must focus on policies which seek to lessen our reliance on foreign energy, and allow us to become energy independent. We need to support policies that will promote exploration, innovation, and conservation and lower energy prices for consumers, to make America stronger.
I am pleased that the House of Representatives has announced that in the coming days we will be debating three pieces of legislation to lift the President's moratorium on drilling along the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), which would triple American production. It is estimated that by simply lifting the moratorium on drilling in the OCS we can create as many as 250,000 jobs in the short-term and 1.2 million jobs long-term. This would be a significant boost to our fragile economy.
Finally, I want to take this opportunity to invite folks from across the Sixth Congressional District to my upcoming job fair which will be held on Thursday, May 19th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Roanoke Civic Center. I am hosting this job fair in conjunction with the City of Roanoke. It is free and open to everyone. No advance registration is required for job seekers. Area businesses large and small who are hiring and would like to participate in the job fair should contact one of my local offices. We currently have nearly 60 businesses that will be on hand to meet with job seekers. They will be looking to hire full and part-time workers. This event should be a great opportunity to match local businesses that are in need of qualified workers with those individuals who are looking for work. To get more information about my upcoming job fair or any other matter, please visit my website at www.goodlatte.house.gov or contact one of my offices.