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Where are the Jobs?

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SCALISE. I want to thank my colleague from Georgia for yielding and for talking about this important issue.

When we talk about jobs, today we had a long debate here on the House floor about unemployment. And, of course, if you look at what's been happening this last year and a half, the policies that have been brought forward by this President and by this leadership here and the people that are running this Congress, these policies have been creating a lot of the unemployment we have today; and you look, since the stimulus bill passed a year and a half ago that you and I opposed because we knew that it would be doing nothing other than growing the size of government, $787 billion of money that we didn't have, that was not only spent to grow the size of government, but the President said it had to be spent to keep unemployment from breaking 8 percent.

Of course, now we are approaching 10 percent unemployment after that bill, after that massive amount of debt dumped onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. And then we look at more and more policies that have been coming since then that are eroding, eroding the economic base of this country.

Of course, we are experiencing some very direct consequences firsthand in our State of Louisiana because of the President's ill-advised moratorium on energy exploration. The President came up with this plan after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon tragic event that was both a human tragedy and now an environmental tragedy, which the President still to this day is not doing his job under the law in helping direct the effort to keep the oil off our marsh, which our local leaders are battling to do every day.

Unfortunately, our local leaders tell us--and I have spoken to them. Anybody who speaks to them will tell you they are spending more of their time fighting the Federal Government than fighting the oil. But the biggest insult lately has been this moratorium because the moratorium, first of all, was actually opposed by the scientists and experts that the President put together after the explosion of that oil rig.

They were tasked by the President to come up with a 30-day report on safety improvements. They actually came back with that 30-day report, and they made some good safety recommendations that I support. But the other thing they said was they opposed the moratorium on drilling that the President came out with.

So when the President gets this report, he doesn't agree with it because for political reasons he wants to go and ban drilling, so he just discarded the science and trumped it with politics. Not only did they say in that report that they were opposed to the moratorium. I have spoken to a few of those scientists and experts and they said, they lay out a good case why the moratorium imposed by the President actually reduces safety in the gulf.

So here you have got a double whammy kicking people when they are down. The people of south Louisiana are down, and yet the President who is supposed to be helping us is coming up with policies that are hurting the people of south Louisiana. Then this moratorium, not only does it go against the safety recommendations of his own scientific experts, but it actually now is costing us thousands of jobs.

There was an unemployment debate going on in this House today. Well, one of the reasons we've got unemployment is because of the President's policies. He should rescind that moratorium. A Federal court twice now told him to rescind it, and he refuses to do so. He refuses to listen to his own scientific experts who say it actually reduces safety in the gulf because you lose your most experienced crews. You actually increase our dependence on foreign oil, and it's imported by tankers. And 70 percent of all the oil spills occur on tankers. So now the President has increased the likelihood for future spills in the gulf with his moratorium that's running more jobs out of our country. And I yield back.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Thank you, Mr. Scalise, I appreciate that. And not only is it killing jobs, but it's going to make everybody's gasoline go up. It's going to make electricity prices go up.

I said here on the floor in a speech that the President's energy tax, cap and tax--or cap and trade, as they call it, some call it cap-and-tax, I call it tax and trade because it's all about taxes--is going to hurt the most vulnerable people here in America. It's going to hurt the poor people. It's going to hurt the seniors who are on limited income more than anybody else. And it seems to me that this disastrous economic as well as environmental disaster that has happened in the gulf is being utilized by this President to try to force his energy policy, his tax and trade bill.

I've been criticized by the liberals around the country because I've said it's going to hurt the poorest people in this country, and it will. In fact, the President himself said, ``It will necessarily make electricity prices skyrocket,'' make electricity prices skyrocket, necessarily, that's what the President said about the energy tax. It would necessarily make electricity prices skyrocket. Who's going to have the hardest time paying their electric bill? The poor folks in America, those people on limited income, the senior citizens, who can least afford to have their gasoline go up, to have their electricity go up. It's going to be disastrous. And it's going to kill jobs.

In fact, the President talks about all the green jobs that are going to be produced. Spain put in a similar type of tax, a similar kind of policy in Spain, and it did produce green jobs. But Mr. Speaker, for every green job produced I think it was 2.3 jobs were lost, a net loss of 2.3 jobs for every job that was created. For every green job that was created, every green job created they lost 2.3 jobs. And that's what our President wants to force on the American public.

I'm wondering whether he's closing down exploration in the gulf just to try to force through his energy tax. I don't know. But I've had people, as I've listened at my America Speaking Out town hall meetings I've had people across my district say that they wonder about that. I was doing an America Speaking Out town hall meeting in Athens, Georgia and a lady got up and she said she wanted to see all new energy exploration stopped, all new drilling for energy and gas to stop in this country. We had about 100 people there. I said, okay, let's find out what everybody else thinks. Now, mind you this is the most liberal county in my district, very Democratic. I didn't carry it as a Republican in any of my elections when there was a Democrat and Republican on the ballot. I did carry it in the special election when I was first elected, but not since. And I asked the public, we invited the general public, I said, how many of you in this audience want to see us stop any new exploration of oil and gas? Eight people held up their hands. Then I said, how many of you want to see us lift the moratorium and start back to exploring and tapping into our own resources here in America and continue drilling for oil and gas and continue developing our own natural resources our own energy sources? Everybody else. I think we had a total of 98 folks, so 90 people held up their hands that they wanted to see it continue, eight people said they wanted to see it stopped.

Over and over again I've talked during this special hour about how the leadership--Ms. Pelosi and company--have gone against what the American people want. They want to see jobs created. We asked them, where are the jobs? They want to see their economy stimulated, not government. We asked them that.

Mr. Scalise, I know that you've seen the disaster of the moratorium on the jobs in Louisiana, but it affects all the Gulf Coast States certainly, not only directly, but indirectly. In just the few minutes we have left, could you give us some examples of some of those non-directly affected people, the fishermen, the people on the platforms, et cetera, could you give us some examples of those people who have been affected by this moratorium?

Mr. SCALISE. Sure, I would be happy to share that with my colleague from Georgia.

Of course Speaker Pelosi earlier today, during the

debate, she actually said that unemployment creates jobs. Now, the logic of that I don't think anybody can understand, but that's what her statement was.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Real quickly, the people I talk to don't want an unemployment check, they want a paycheck. And I yield back.

Mr. SCALISE. And that's exactly what the people in the gulf want. The people don't want an unemployment check, they want jobs. They've got good jobs, and they're being taken away by the President. And what they've said is keep this industry going, let's do it safely. And there are good outlines of how to do it safely. In fact, most of the companies out there in the gulf in even deeper waters than BP weren't cutting corners, weren't doing things the wrong way. They were doing everything safe, and they were shut down. BP is the only one out there drilling right now.

If you listened, we had tragic testimony from two of the widows who lost their husbands in that explosion in the committee I serve on. And both of them said it's tragic what happened. The rules should have been enforced that weren't enforced, the safety rules should have been followed. But they said don't shut down this industry, it's our way of life. We know it can be done safely. You need to insist that those rules are enforced, which they weren't. Don't shut down the industry.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, where are the jobs? We need to have different policies to create jobs than what we've been given by Ms. Pelosi and company.

I yield back.


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