Today, Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) released the following column discussing the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act (H.R. 7), the next piece in House Republicans' Plan for America's Job Creators:
"For three full years, the national unemployment rate has remained above 8 percent as the president's policies have made it harder for small businesses to hire more workers. But rather than charting a new course for America's still-ailing economy, the president continues to stand by his same failed approach and gimmicks. That's why House Republicans have been taking action and pursuing a different approach to job creation.
"In May of 2011, House Republicans released our Plan for America's Job Creators which is focused on fostering entrepreneurship, easing regulations that are smothering job creators, boosting American exports, reducing budget deficits that are stifling economic growth, lowering the tax burden on small and family-owned businesses, and removing government barriers to domestic energy production.
"The House is currently working on the next piece of our Plan for America's Job Creators, pro-growth legislation called the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act (H.R. 7). This legislation will help to create good, private-sector jobs, ease rising gas prices and promote stable, long-term economic growth. It represents not only a 180-degree turn from the failed "stimulus' approach of President Obama, but also a genuine departure from the misguided way Washington has been abusing hardworking taxpayers for years.
"H.R. 7 begins by breaking down government barriers to allow for responsible exploration of energy resources here at home. Producing more American-made resources will bolster our energy security, help ease prices at the pump and create more than one million new American jobs by expanding off shore drilling, opening up a small portion of ANWR, and moving forward with the Keystone XL pipeline.
"Increased production means additional royalties from the lease of new federal lands and offshore areas. H.R. 7 devotes these payments from energy companies to help fund a new long-term approach to repairing and improving America's roads and bridges. We must rebuild our ailing highway system--not because spending government money is how you create jobs, but because dependable infrastructure is critical for commerce and long-term private-sector growth.
"In the past, highways bills represented what was wrong with Washington: earmarks, endless layers of bureaucracy, wasted tax dollars and misplaced priorities. Congress last passed a major highway program in 2005. It was a pork-laden, Washington-centered nightmare that brought us the "Bridge to Nowhere' and required more than one taxpayer-funded bailout to stay afloat. I voted against that bill. In fact, in my 21 years of representing you in Congress I've never once voted for a highway bill because of this reckless approach.
"But the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act puts an end to the way we have done business in the past and completely overhauls the way taxpayer dollars are spent. By using the revenue from new energy exploration to pay for improvements to our roads and bridges, this bill doesn't add a dime to the deficit. And it doesn't have any earmarks--none.
"H.R. 7 will be first highway infrastructure bill I've ever voted for. That's because it has its priorities straightened out. This legislation, like all the components of our Plan for America's Job Creators, is about breaking down government barriers so we can build up private-sector jobs. I encourage you to learn more about all of the House's plans by visiting jobs.gop.gov and please share your thoughts at johnboehner.house.gov."
Boehner represents Ohio's 8th District, which includes all of Darke, Miami, and Preble counties, most of Butler and Mercer counties, and the northeastern corner of Montgomery County. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.