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Mr. WALBERG. Mr. Speaker, despite talk of political gridlock in D.C., Republicans and Democrats can agree on at least one thing--the economy is in rough shape. For the past 41 months, the unemployment rate has not gone below 8 percent, causing worry, uncertainty, and frustration for many families living in Michigan and across the U.S. But unfortunately, things can still get worse.
It's time for President Obama and the Senate to stop pushing their failed agendas and start applying commonsense policies that work. My Republican colleagues and I in the House have been listening to the American people and remain committed to policies that spur job creation, reduce costs, and restore power back to the people.
Last month's employment report showed that millions of Americans still are without a job and the unemployment rate is stuck at 8.2 percent. Meanwhile, the anemic job growth is even worse in my district where some areas show an unemployment rate of over 9 percent. Nationwide, the rate of ``real unemployment,'' which includes the unemployed, the underemployed, and those that want to work but have given up looking, now totals 14.9 percent. Making matters worse, the number of weeks it takes a worker to find a job has more than doubled since President Obama took office. Is this hope and change?
But it's not just the unemployment numbers which paint a grim picture of our economy. Government spending is out of control. With 84 days left in the fiscal year, the government has already spent its way into another $1 trillion deficit. Despite this out-of-control spending, the Senate hasn't bothered to pass a budget in more than 3 years. Since that time, the Federal Government has added more than $4 trillion to our national debt.
Families and businesses in my district and across the country know that they can't spend more than they make, which is why they create budgets and why they sometimes have to make tough choices to prevent them from drowning in debt. They get it, but sadly, their President and Senate still refuse to look at the facts.
But they also refuse to listen to the American people. According to the polls, Americans, and especially those in my district, are angry about having a government takeover of health care and the largest tax increase in history. Health care coverage is already too expensive for many families in my district, and this health care takeover will not only make it more expensive, but put Federal bureaucracy between them and their doctor. On top of that, it will hinder job creators from hiring by requiring them to either offer costly government-mandated health insurance or pay a steep fine.
So far, my colleagues and I in the House have taken 30 floor votes to repeal, defund, and dismantle the law. After it's gone, we can start over with commonsense reforms that will return choices to the patients and not burden job creators with higher costs, new regulations, and more uncertainty.
It's obvious to the American people that the President's policies are failing and making the economy worse. Instead, they want the government to stop taxing them more, stop creating new harmful regulations, and stop coming between them and their doctor.
House Republicans have been listening. That's why we will continue to work on repealing this unfavorable and costly health care law. It's why we already put forth a balanced, responsible budget, and it's why we put together a plan for America's job creators to create an environment in which small businesses can grow and hire and where health care is affordable again.
Currently, there are 27 bipartisan jobs bills that have been passed by the House and are languishing in the Democrat-controlled Senate. My hope is that the President and Senate stop talking to the American people and start listening to them.
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