While there are many different issues that the American people are concerned about, the top concern that I hear when I talk to the people of the 23rd District of Texas is the economy and jobs. The American people want to know what Congress is doing to encourage job creation and get the economy back on track.
For 24 months, the approach to job creation taken by President Obama, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was to spend the hard-earned money of American taxpayers in an attempt to purchase economic prosperity. The form this attempt took was the $1.2 trillion "stimulus" bill, which the Obama Administration claimed would keep unemployment from going above 8%. Yet, the American people know this approach hasn't worked. In the most recent monthly jobs report issued by the Department of Labor, the unemployment rate was at 9.1% in May. This marks the 27th straight month that the unemployment rate has been higher than 8% since passage of the stimulus bill in February 2009.
Instead of jobs and economic growth, the only thing the American people have to show for all the money spent on the stimulus is debt. More debt means more uncertainty, and more uncertainty means fewer jobs. Job creators see our debt and the future taxes necessary to pay for it if we don't stop spending money we don't have. Besides our debt, other Washington policies such as the health care law, the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill, the threat of higher energy prices, and the onslaught of regulations flowing from the Obama Administration are negatively impacting job creation.
To combat this uncertainty and create the environment needed for job creators to begin hiring and getting our economy back on track, the House of Representatives has passed several pieces of legislation that would remove the uncertainty in the economy that is being caused by Washington. These efforts include passing a budget that will get spending under control and put our nation back on a sustainable fiscal path (H. Con. Res. 34); passing legislation aimed at increasing the production of American energy to bring down the cost of energy (H.R. 1229, H.R. 1230, H.R. 1231); passing legislation to reduce the regulatory burden faced by job creators (H.R. 872, H.R. 4, H. Res. 72); and passing legislation to repeal and begin the work to replace the health care law (H.R. 2, H. Res. 9).
With nearly two-thirds of small businesses saying it's a bad time to expand, it is time for the United States Senate and the White House to join the House of Representatives in our efforts to remove the economic uncertainty that is holding back job creation and economic growth and create the environment so that job creators will do what they do best -- create jobs.