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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 2930, Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act, and Providing for Consideration of H.R. 2940, Access to Capital for Job Creators Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. DREIER. I want to begin by saying to the very distinguished vice chairman of the Rules Committee, Mr. Sessions, the gentleman from Dallas, that I appreciate his energy and effort on the Rules Committee. And I want to say that I think that he's very clearly made the case that we have, through this entire Congress, been focusing on the priority that the American people want us to focus on, and that is job creation and economic growth.

Now, it's a very specious claim that has been made by many that somehow this institution has failed to address the issue of job creation and economic growth. And I appreciate the good words and thoughtful comments on capital formation made by the minority manager of this rule on the floor. My friend from Colorado (Mr. Polis), who has taken on, and throughout his life has been focused on, the idea of the entrepreneur, taking the entrepreneurial spirit and generating jobs, he understands what it takes. Capital formation is a critical part of that.

The two measures that are going to be made in order under this rule go a long way in this 21st century recognizing that for us to grow the economy and create jobs, we're going to need to ensure that decreasing the regulatory burden that undermines the ability for small businesses to have access to capital as they pursue innovative ideas is something that needs to be addressed. And that's exactly what we're going to be doing.

And I say it's a specious claim, Mr. Speaker, that many people have made that this institution is not taking action. For that reason, I hope very much that with this bipartisan effort that we have here, a bipartisan effort, that we will bring to an end those kinds of statements, mischaracterizing, grossly mischaracterizing the work of the United States House of Representatives.

I believe that it's been inappropriate to make those claims for a long period of time. Why? Because we have made many, many, many efforts over the past several months to put into place policies that can help create jobs. Have they all worked at this point? No. They're all obviously prospective. But if you look at what we've done in the area of encouraging domestic energy production, that's a critically important part of getting the economy going, increasing job opportunities and reducing energy costs for our fellow Americans.

If we look at the notion of trying to ensure that we open up new markets around the world for union and nonunion workers here in the United States of America, we have just, in a bipartisan way, with the support of both Democrats and Republicans, passed measures that will open up markets for us in Colombia, in Panama and in South Korea. I was privileged yesterday to be with the Ambassador from Korea as we marked a celebration, a bipartisan celebration of that effort.

Look at the measure that was passed, again, with huge bipartisan support, dealing with the 3 percent withholding for those contracting with Federal, State, and local governments that we are bringing that to an end. That's something that the President of the United States has asked of us. We passed it out of the House of Representatives. And I have to admit, it's a measure that should easily pass the United States Senate, and I hope that Majority Leader Reid does bring that measure up in the Senate. Unfortunately, it hasn't happened so far, but I do think it's something that should pass the Democratic-controlled Senate. It has passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support.

Just this week we are continuing down that path towards putting into place a structure that will reduce the tax and regulatory burden to create jobs for our fellow Americans.

I think it's also important to note, Mr. Speaker, that one of the things that we need to do since we have seen an 82 percent increase in non-defense discretionary spending for the 4 years leading up to this year, it's important that we decrease the size, scope and reach of government so that those small businessmen and -women who are seeking to create job opportunities are in a climate where that can take place. That's why I say that virtually everything that we have been doing to reverse that course that we were on, with that 82 percent increase in non-defense discretionary spending, everything that we've been trying to do to pare this down, the work that's going on right now of our 12 colleagues who are part of the joint select committee charged with reducing by $1.2 trillion over the next decade the level of spending and we hope--we hope--beyond that $1.2 trillion level.

All of these things, Mr. Speaker, are geared to getting our economy growing so that our fellow Americans will have more job opportunities. And so the message is a clear one. The process that we have is a very good one. I'm happy to say that if you look at the number of amendments that have been considered on the House floor in the first 9 months of this year, we've had 842 amendments considered on the House floor. I'm very pleased that we've been able to have a greater degree of openness and transparency. We've made every single amendment in order. There were many more Democratic amendments made in order than Republican amendments made in order on the two bills that are coming before us.

We have seen, as I said, 842 amendments considered here on the floor in the first 9 months of this year. But, Mr. Speaker, in the entire 111th Congress, that's 2 years, two sessions of Congress, there were a grand total of 787 amendments considered on the House floor. And so I'm very pleased that we have, in a bipartisan way, been able to open up the floor so that Members, regardless of their political party, Democrats and Republicans alike, have been able to have their ideas considered. And that is exactly what is going to happen under this special rule which we are considering at this moment.

So, Mr. Speaker, let me say again, job creation and economic growth is what this is about. The American people are hurting. The people of my State have an unemployment rate that is well in the double-digits. Part of the area I represent has a 15 percent-plus unemployment rate. We need to do everything that we can to get our economy moving.

I would say to anyone out there, anyone out there who would try to make the claim that the United States Congress, specifically the House of Representatives, is not taking action to create jobs and get our economy growing is just plain wrong and that kind of mischaracterization has got to come to an end.

I look forward, again, to bipartisan support for both this rule, which allows, again, every Democratic and Republican amendment that was submitted to us to be considered on the floor and also the very strong bipartisan support that I know that both of these measures will have as we proceed with debate.

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Mr. DREIER. I would like to engage in a discussion, if I might, with my friend from Worcester who has just, in response to my quest to recognize that the measure that is before us today that is a job-creating measure will, in fact, Mr. Speaker, enjoy strong bipartisan support--and everyone acknowledges. I mean, all one needs to listen to is the minority floor manager of this measure that this issue is a jobs-creation item.

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Mr. DREIER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend for his very thoughtful contribution. Let me respond to his points.

Mr. Speaker, this is the President's jobs bill that we are considering today right here on the House floor. The President stood just over the gentleman's shoulder and addressed a joint session of Congress on the issue of job creation and economic growth and how he wanted his jobs bill brought forward. Do you know what he said to us? He said we needed to pass the Colombia, Panama, and Korean free trade agreements. And guess what? With bipartisan votes, we have embraced and supported that provision of the President's jobs bill.

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Mr. DREIER. Mr. Speaker, now I will reclaim my time to say that, since my friend has brought up the issue of Colombia, and we've disagreed on this for a long period of time, there are 40 million consumers in Colombia. And right now there are people who are union workers at Caterpillar and at John Deere and at Whirlpool and other manufacturing companies in the United States who are going to have access to those consumers because of the agreement that we have put into place.

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Mr. DREIER. I would like to reclaim my time, if I might, to say to my friend that if one looks at the jobs that have been created in the manufacturing sector of our economy--and I'm very sympathetic to those workers that my friend has just spoken about in his district; but, Mr. Speaker, I think it's important for us to note that the United States of America today is still the number one manufacturing country on the face of the Earth.

It is true that there are other countries that are growing in the manufacturing sector, and it is true that we have lost manufacturing jobs in the United States of America, in large part due to the tax and regulatory burden, things like repatriation and other items which play a role in discouraging economic investment here in the United States, but having said that, we can't forget that the United States still is the number one manufacturer.

So with 96 percent of the world's consumers outside of our border, the idea of saying that we're ignoring the President's request--the President stood here. And I will admit, it's with our encouragement, I encouraged him just days after he was elected, Mr. Speaker, with our encouragement he has supported the idea of opening up these markets in Colombia and Panama and South Korea. And I will say, Mr. Speaker, that as we seek to do that, we have embraced these measures and we're doing them in a bipartisan way.

And so as my friend got up and said we're talking about ``In God We Trust'' rather than talking about jobs, we do have the ability, believe it or not, to walk and chew gum at the same time. But we all know that the top priority is making sure that we get our economy back on track. And, Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we're doing. That's exactly what we have done for
the past several months. Because in the last Congress, with the passage of things like the stimulus bill that they told us that if we passed the stimulus bill the unemployment rate would not exceed 8 percent, we all know where it is. As I said, in part of my district it's in excess of 15 percent. That has been a failed policy.

We have been putting into place policies, again, working in a bipartisan way, unlike the way the stimulus bill was put into place at the beginning of last year. We have now, I believe, established policies that can play a big role to ensuring that those workers whose hands my friend shook in his district are able to have the kind of potential job opportunity that is necessary.

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Mr. DREIER. If I could reclaim my time, Mr. Speaker, to say that this is not the President's jobs bill--I will admit, it was at our encouragement--but these are things that he said when he addressed us right here in a joint session of Congress. So it is for that reason that we have been able to come together in a bipartisan way to address these very important issues.

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