Congress might not be in session in Washington, but that doesn't mean we're not working on issues that matter to Northeastern Pennsylvanians and Americans.
One of the most pressing issues facing our community is unemployment. We are living in tough economic times and everyone is feeling the sting from the slump in our nation's financial wellbeing.
The key to job creation and economic recovery is found in small, private businesses, not in big government. The best thing that the government can do is to remove uncertainty regarding regulation, tax policy, and unfunded mandates so job creators can plan for and invest in the future.
The government does not create jobs, but it is very capable of destroying them. The best the government can do is create an environment that encourages job creation.
Since I was sworn in eight months ago, I've voted for at least 15 substantial measures that will cut burdensome over-regulation, reduce federal overspending that leads to uncertainty among job creators, encourage entrepreneurship, and fix the tax code. All of these things would lead to the creation of new jobs all across Northeastern Pennsylvania and the United States, but the Senate has failed to act on virtually all of these measures.
The fact is, job creation in America has ground to a halt because of the policies of the president and the laws enacted by the previous Congress. The government takeover of healthcare, for example, sets mandates for businesses depending on the number of employees they have. This mandate alone is keeping businesses from expanding and, in some cases, it's making businesses get rid of workers so they don't fall under the government quotas. That job-killing mandate is one of the reasons why I voted to repeal the government's takeover of healthcare. But that bill has been stalled by the Senate Democratic Majority.
We can also create more jobs by increasing domestic energy production, but this administration has stopped any and all attempts to produce our own energy. I voted for multiple bills to restart domestic energy exploration and production -- both because of the jobs that would be created and because the increased output would lower the cost of fuel, further boosting the economy -- but again, those bills have been stalled.
The president told us that if Congress passed his $800 billion "stimulus' package, unemployment wouldn't go above 8 percent. But it's been over 9 percent for 25 of the last 27 months.
I believe the policies advanced by the president and the Senate Democratic Majority have created tremendous uncertainty among job creators. During the recent debt ceiling debate, the president and his supporters in Washington, I believe, insisted on raising taxes on business owners -- not just the "millionaires and billionaires," but anyone whose small businesses earn more than $250,000 a year.For a small business owner, that is a very low ceiling. The threat of higher taxes during an economic slowdown will prevent a business owner from hiring more people.
My wife and I owned a business. We grew that business from a $29.95 investment to the sixth-largest company of its kind in the country. I believe I know what it takes to create jobs, and the agenda of the president and his supporter in our nation's capitol will not do it.
I hear from constituents every day that they're hurting, that they're worried, and that they're looking for answers.
The Senate's inaction is frustrating, but I will continue to push for legislation and congressional action that encourages business growth and job creation.
Very truly yours,