One fact is as certain and as reliable as the granite foundation on which our state stands: New Hampshire's economy rests on the fate of our small businesses. It is almost impossible to overstate their importance. When small businesses flourish and prosper, all of New Hampshire prospers too; when they struggle, our economy struggles as well.
So it's sound policy to do everything we can to help them grow and expand. That is why I pay special attention to their needs. I have visited approximately 75 small businesses in the year and a half since I began serving as your Representative in Congress. I have talked with men and women who build their business from scratch. I have heard them tell me what Washington should be doing to help them, and how Congress needs to cut the red tape that is holding back many of them from expanding and growing. I have listened to their frustration over Washington's refusal to bring federal spending under control, and have heard how uncertainty and unpredictability (such as the Senate's ongoing refusal to pass a budget for three years in a row) is keeping them guessing about what could lie in store, and what impact it could have on their bottom line.
And I have responded to their concerns. I voted to approve budgets in 2011 and again this year. I have voted to approve more than 30 job-creating pieces of legislation -- only to watch most of them sit idle in the Senate. I have voted to provide relief from job-choking over regulation and to place limits on the ability of federal bureaucrats to impose new rounds of red tape.
So I was deeply honored a couple of weeks ago when the National Federation of Independent Business presented me with a special award. This group has approximately 400,000 members nationwide, and advocates on behalf of small business interests. I was given the "Guardian of Small Business Award" in recognition of my voting record and efforts on behalf of New Hampshire's small businesses.
Thinking about it afterward, it occurred to me that every Congressman and Senator should be a guardian of small business. We have the responsibility, as your Representatives and Senators, to create the fiscal environment where small businesses have the opportunity to prosper and grow. Our nation's economy has always depended on the pioneering spirit of entrepreneurs to move us ahead. The visionaries, the risk-takers and the people with bold new ideas are the ones who keep us advancing and make us the envy of the world. It is not government's duty to determine which of these ventures succeeds or fails; it is up to the free market to determine that. But your government should create a fiscal atmosphere that encourages people to step forward and dare to take a risk. Because when those ventures succeed, new jobs are created, new salaries are created and there is increased opportunity for everyone.
We know what needs to be done, and I am proud of the lead the House of Representatives is taking to make it happen. But we cannot do it alone. We need the Senate and the White House to join with us. We need to set aside our differences and work together to create better opportunities for everyone. That is the approach I bring to serving as your Representative in Washington. And I want you to know this: I remain ready to work with anyone -in either party or in either house of Congress- to return our federal government to the basics of sound fiscal responsibility
I look forward to reporting back to you in two weeks on the latest developments in Washington. In the meantime, if I can be of service to you, or if you want to share your thoughts, suggestions or concerns with me, please call either my district office in Manchester at (603) 641-9536 or my Washington office at (202) 225-5456, or contact me through my website at www.Guinta.House.Gov. You can also follow what I'm doing 24/7 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repfrankguinta and on Twitter at @RepFrankGuinta.
Until next time, please know that I am always on your side and am actively fighting for New Hampshire's interests in Washington.