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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4078, Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act, and Providing for Consideration of H.R. 6082, Congressional Replacement of President Obama's Energy-Restricting and Job-Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ROSS of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlelady from North Carolina.

Mr. Speaker, recent economic indicators show that another recession is a real danger. Consumer confidence is plummeting, businesses aren't hiring, and recovery continues to slow. Real unemployment is at 14.9 percent, and millions of Americans have given up hope. The World Bank reports that the U.S. is now 13th in the world when measuring the ease of starting a new business. In 2007, we were ranked third. Last month, American manufacturing shrank for the first time in nearly 2 years. Economists are revising their growth projections downward. Inflation looms on the horizon, and Europe's sovereign debt crisis continues unabated.

Some of the circumstances that led to this crisis are out of anybody's control, but many of these circumstances are not. Policymakers in Washington have an obligation to our constituents and to this country to work together to create an environment where the American people prosper. We have such an opportunity today. The Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act takes a balanced approach towards regulatory reforms that are desperately needed in today's market.

For 25 years, before I was elected, I was a small businessman. I started a business not because of a government program or because of government lending; in fact, I couldn't even get a bank to loan me money. I borrowed money from a friend and grew that business over 20-some years to 27 employees. I didn't do it because there were good bridges and roads next door to me. I saw a need, I took a risk, and worked harder than the next guy. I also knew the rules and understood that government was the referee, not the player.

Today, the regulatory climate and litigious nature of many government agencies create uncertainty. Some falsely claim that certainty has nothing to do with our current economic crisis. Mr. Speaker, economics is as much a behavioral science as anything. When businesses don't know what the next regulatory hurdle will be, they won't invest.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce has recently done a study of small businesses in Florida. The results were clear: uncertainty is the number one issue facing job creators and entrepreneurs. Right now there are projects waiting on the sidelines that have the potential to create 1.9 million jobs annually in this country. Talk about a shot in the arm to the economy.

The only thing certain about this President has been the uncertainty that he has provided and the regulatory reform and tax reform for small business. Take my home State of Florida for example. According to research by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there is potential for 121,000 jobs there if we have regulatory certainty. In the first year of operations, businesses could generate over $2 billion in employment earnings. This bill is not about generating profits for fat cats and Big Oil. How do I know? Because I have seen firsthand a project in my area come to a halt because of a litigious activist group that affected 200 blue color jobs: secretaries, machinists, and more. There were 14 Federal agencies, State and local agencies, 7 years of permits and review, only to have a lawsuit 1 month later kill the dreams of a better life for my neighbors.

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Mr. ROSS of Florida. Mr. Speaker, one thing I know about government is that before it gives to someone, it must take from someone else. This legislation presents solutions that are sensible and immediately effective. My neighbors are tired of the regulatory burden. I'm tired of the regulatory burden.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this rule and the underlying bill.

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