Earlier today, the Commerce Department released a disconcerting report about the state of our economy. In the April-June quarter, the U.S. economy only grew at a rate of 1.5 percent. This was a decline from 2 percent in the first quarter of this year . The rate matched expectations, but expectations were low, and the report indicated that our economy is in danger of stalling even though the Great Recession was three years ago.
Such weak growth will not be enough to reduce the unemployment rate, which continues to hover above 8 percent and shows no signs of coming down. It would take a growth rate at least double the current percentage to start bringing down the unemployment rate in any meaningful way.
This news is a clear sign that our economy is not heading in the right direction. It is no surprise, though, with Democrats controlling a do-nothing Senate, and President Obama pushing to raise taxes. To make matters worse, the President has been so busy campaigning that he hasn't met with his jobs council in over six months! We've had almost four years of Obama's economic policies, and they are utterly failing. With tax cuts now set to expire at the end of this year, it's also no surprise that consumer spending lagged at a growth rate of 1.5 percent too.
Now more than ever, Americans need to know that the government will not start taking even more of their hard-earned money next year. They need the assurance that they will be able to provide for their families, invest, spend, and hire. If we can leave more money in the pocketbooks of all Americans, it will allow the people to revitalize the economy and open up more job opportunities--just as they've always done.
This is the critical issue facing America today. Our economy has never been so sluggish after a recession. That is why I have joined with Republicans in the House to take action on your behalf. This term, I have voted for more than 30 jobs-creating bills that would help spur our weak economic growth and lower unemployment. Next week, the House will vote on the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012, which will stop the tax hike, and give Americans the confidence they need to move forward.