It is no secret that trillions in spending and an increase in government red tape has caused many Americans to lose their jobs and resulted in a sluggish economy. More than 13.9 million Americans were unable to find work in May. Some have been seeking employment for months, but are starting to give up hope. From visiting with my constituents of Oklahoma's Third Congressional District and listening to their concerns, I know something must be done to increase the number of jobs and get the economy back on track.
Recently, the House Republican Plan for America's Job Creators was unveiled to combat these issues. This plan will provide more economic certainty for families, small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The first step to economic success and creating jobs is enacting changes to the tax code that will make the system fairer, simpler and more efficient for all Americans. For example, reducing the overall tax rate to 25 percent or less for small and large businesses and individuals will generate economic expansion while in-turn creating more jobs and making America more competitive.
In addition to tax reforms, free trade agreements need to be passed with Columbia, Panama and South Korea. Passing these agreements will increase the number of exports, which will increase the amount of production. More production of these goods will require more workers, and this will create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
The plan calls for us to expand our American-made energy options and reduce our dependency on other countries for these resources. Oklahoma has been a leading energy producing state since the establishment of the first oil refinery in the late 1800s. In more recent years, we have made tremendous advancements in wind energy making us the 9th largest producer in the nation. This plan would encourage more energy exploration and production so that we can utilize the energy resources within our country. Increasing exploration and production will create jobs, encourage economic growth, help us break our reliance on foreign oil, and enhance our national security.
I am encouraged to see leaders in congress looking for solutions, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to make certain this plan is implemented so we can move forward with creating jobs and building America's economy.