October's 7.9 percent national unemployment rate is further proof that we need to get Americans working again. No question, the Administration's "War on Coal" has ruined thousands of jobs and small business opportunities for southern and eastern Kentuckians. Last month, I spoke directly with top officials at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the unjustified delays in mining and construction permits. These delays are strangling communities in the heart of our coalfields, which was evident during my visit to the Booth Energy Center in Martin County earlier this week. We can't afford to lose these talented workers or the home-grown energy resource under our feet.
As you know, on September 11th, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed during a coordinated terrorist strike against our U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Statements from senior White House officials suggested this was the result of a spontaneous protest, rather than what it truly was -- a premeditated al Qaeda terrorist attack on the United States. I've joined other senior Members of Congress in condemning these attacks and calling for a full briefing on the notable security lapses. Al Qaeda and Islamic extremism pose a serious threat to our nation's security and Americans deserve to know the truth of what happened on the anniversary of 9/11.
Finally, my staff and I are receiving regular updates on the response and recovery by Americans along our eastern seaboard to Hurricane Sandy. As a region prone to flooding and high-waters, our hearts go out to those affected by this deadly super storm. Cynthia and I extend our deepest sympathies to those fellow Americans who are displaced, still without power, or grieving the loss of a loved one.