In light of the three speeches the President intends to give this week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) today sent a memo highlighting three immediate steps the President could take to improve the economy and strengthen the middle class. The text of the memo is below, and a printable PDF version is here.
TO: Interested Parties
FR: House Republican Leaders
DT: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
RE: Three Immediate Steps To Grow Jobs & Strengthen The Middle Class
House Republicans have spent most of the year working to enact our Plan for Economic Growth & Jobs, available at GOP.gov/JOBS. Many House-passed bills aimed at improving the economy and strengthening the middle class languish in the Senate. We welcome President Obama's renewed concern about the economy and desire to build a stronger middle class; but presidential action speaks louder than words. Here are three steps the president could take immediately on House-passed legislation that would actually improve the economy and strengthen the middle class.
1) Approve the Keystone Pipeline: The Keystone XL Pipeline has been awaiting approval for over 1,750 days now. It has already undergone extensive scientific review and the failure of the Administration to authorize the pipeline is costing us 20,000 direct and 100,000 indirect jobs.
2) Urge the Democratic-Controlled Senate to Join the House and Pass a Job Training Bill: It has been more than three months since the House of Representatives passed the SKILLS Act to reform and update our nation's jobs training programs. The House bill was supported by Governors, employers and community colleges. The Democratic-controlled Senate has yet to pass a bill and as a result thousands of individuals in need of training are being left behind by our broken system. (It is worth noting that the President is returning to Knox College to begin his new speaking tour; the very place where in 2005 he championed reform of our job training programs.)
3) Support the Bipartisan Effort to Expand Offshore Domestic Energy Production: There is bipartisan support in Congress for expanding environmentally-responsible offshore energy development. A bill recently passed by the House would do just that, opening areas off Virginia, South Carolina, and Southern California. Over the long-term, offshore drilling has the potential to create 1.2 million jobs and $70 billion in wages. Furthermore, if gas prices just returned to what they were the day President Obama took office, that would equate to an increase in take home pay of $200 per month for the average middle class family.
The President might also consider calling Mary Jo White, his appointee who chairs the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and ask her to complete implementation of the 2012 JOBS Act. The President and Republicans alike championed the reforms in the JOBS Act to increase funding for start-ups and small businesses. Yet, the SEC has missed statutory deadlines and multiple rules, which are necessary to fully implement the JOBS Act, are still awaiting SEC action.
Of course, these positive steps only help counter the negative impact on the economy and the middle class resulting from the implementation of the president's health care law. We have already witnessed the move towards part-time employment as a result of the health care law. Thankfully, the President acknowledged this problem by attempting to delay the employer mandate, which the House has now authorized him to do, and we urge the Senate to follow suit. House Republicans continue to call on the President to work with us to take action to address the many other negative economic consequences of this law, including delaying the individual mandate, which will force many Americans to buy insurance -- often at a higher price than before the law -- or pay a tax.