Financial regulatory reform is necessary to curb abuses and create a regulatory structure for a 21st century economy. As we consider these reforms my philosophy -- especially in these tough economic times -- is to first do no harm. Taxpayers must not be on the hook for bank bailouts, we must address the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to stabilize the housing market, and we cannot allow new czars to be created with unprecedented powers.
I am also concerned with the Federal Reserve's poor performance over these past few years, especially its role in the bailout of "too big to fail firms" and involvement in our country's economic recovery. With national unemployment remaining above 8% and Nevada's unemployment rate even higher at 12%, the Federal Reserve's monetary policies must be closely examined to see why they have not been more stimulative of our economy. For this reason, I have supported a direct audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and of the Federal Reserve banks.
As a former small business owner, I understand the challenges that businesses face during these tough economic times. Government overregulation negatively impacts small businesses and puts them in a position where they are unable to create jobs and spur economic growth. Since Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the country, I assure you that job creation and turning our economy around is my top priority in Congress.
One way we can spur job growth is to extend tax relief to small businesses. I voted in support of the Small Business Tax Cut Act which would allow small businesses with less than 500 employees to take a tax deduction equal to 20% of their active business income. The state of Nevada is home to more than 45,000 small businesses that have shed jobs in recent years and are reluctant to hire because of the tax burden placed on them by Washington. This bill will help those businesses expand and hire.
Research conducted by the Small Business Administration shows that small businesses account for 60% of new jobs in our country. In order to reduce the undue government regulations that our preventing our small business from creating jobs, I voted for H.R. 3606, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act). The JOBS Act will remove government barriers that are preventing entrepreneurs from starting new businesses and remove regulations that are preventing established small businesses from obtaining the capital they need to improve, grow, and create jobs. The JOBS Act passed the House of Representatives, with my vote in support, on March 8, 2012, and is awaiting further action by the U.S. Senate.