Boehner Column: Leading by Example, Creating a Better Environment for Jobs

Statement

By:  John Boehner
Date: April 26, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

Today, Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) released the following column:

"Three years ago I and my fellow House Republicans made a pledge to rein in government spending, starting with Congress' own budget.

"From the very first vote of our new majority in the House, we've worked to keep that promise. Currently we're on track to save taxpayers more than $400 million by the end of the fiscal year.

"At a time when many families and small businesses are doing more with less, it's only right that the House of Representatives do the same. House member budgets have been cut 18 percent and committees 22 percent.

"As USA TODAY noted in an April 25 report, Members of Congress are cutting back on everything from bottled water to travel and salaries. In all, we'll have achieved $58 million in savings for FY2011, $143 million for FY2012, and $205 million for FY2013 by September 30.

"A portion of this year's figure is a result of sequestration, which -- though it's bad policy -- is being implemented in the House in the most responsible way possible. We've avoided furloughs, and kept the Capitol open to the public for tours.

"Unfortunately, the White House has chosen a different path. Determined to get more tax hikes so they can keep on spending, the administration has tried to make sequester cuts as painful as possible.

"The FAA's decision to implement blunt, across-the-board furloughs of air traffic controllers is a perfect example of this troubling approach. Bipartisan legal experts agreed that the FAA had more flexibility to avoid delays and furloughs than it publicly professed. Americans were rightly fed up, and the House and Senate were forced to step in fix the problems when President Obama chose not to act.

"This fix prevents furloughs of air traffic controllers, and it does so without any new revenue, and without adding to the debt. But it does not replace the entire sequester with more responsible cuts and reforms -- as Americans ultimately want, and House Republicans have voted twice to do. That's not going to be possible until President Obama sets aside his demands for tax hikes and joins us in working to do more with less.

"If we've learned anything these past five years, it's that Washington can't spend its way to prosperity. Our national debt, which has grown significantly due to President Obama's failed "stimulus policies,' is draining our economy and threatening our kids and grandkids.

"House Republicans are committed to leading on the issues Americans care most about, and in the weeks ahead we'll keep working to do more with less -- even as we prepare for a big push to expand American energy and create jobs.

"As the summer driving season nears, we're mindful that gas prices remain painfully high for families and small businesses, but this is about more than that. It's about revitalizing manufacturing, creating new jobs, and growing our economy for all Americans.

"Energy is the foundation of our economy. We need to focus on the promise of prosperity that North American energy abundance offers.

"Take the Keystone XL pipeline. This project would bring secure Canadian oil to the marketplace and create more than 20,000 new jobs -- and according to a recent Dayton Business Journal report, it would boost Ohio's economy by $10 billion over the next 25 years. But the pipeline's permit has been delayed in Washington for more than four years, and even if President Obama were to approve it tomorrow, it could continue to be tied up by red tape and legal challenges.

"That's why the House Energy and Commerce Committee acted recently to approve the Northern Route Approval Act (H.R. 3) to clear roadblocks for the Keystone XL Pipeline. This bill is similar to legislation passed in 1973 to help construct the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, and it will soon come before the whole House for a vote.
"America's greatness is tied to our freedom to produce and build things. Republicans have a plan to grow our economy by addressing Washington's spending problem and helping the private sector get our nation building again. We want to streamline government, cut red tape, and unleash North American energy.

"With these things, we can revitalize American manufacturing and create jobs and opportunities for all Americans."

Boehner represents Ohio's 8th District, which includes all of Butler, Clark, Darke, Miami, and Preble counties, and the southernmost part of Mercer County. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.