Last week was another productive one in the House featuring passage of two bills that remove barriers to job creation and innovation in America. One of the bills, HR 1904, is particularly beneficial to our home state of Arizona. Sponsored by Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act creates over 3,700 high-paying Arizona jobs and produces over $20 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues. The bill authorizes a fair-value land exchange in Southeast Arizona that will open up the third-largest source of untapped copper in the United States.
As Arizonans know, copper is a vitally important mineral used in the construction, telecommunication and transportation industries. And because it is highly conductive, copper is also widely used in the development of new modern communication and alternative energy technologies. Currently, the United States is importing over 30 percent of its copper. HR 1904 will allow for the construction of a new mining site that will provide enough copper to meet 25 percent of U.S. demand. The legislation also ensures that mine construction is done in an environmentally responsible manner.
To wrap up the week, the House on Thursday passed HR 674, a bill that repeals the 3-percent withholding mandate. Unless repealed, beginning on January 1, 2013, federal, state and local governments will withhold 3 percent from payments for goods and services to vendors. The 3-percent mandate will be extremely burdensome for thousands of American companies that operate on slim profit margins.
Over the past few months, I've met many business leaders across the Third District who have informed me about the pervasive lack of confidence that is preventing companies from taking responsible risks and putting capital to work. The 3-percent withholding mandate is just one example of the onslaught of pending federal rules and regulations that has surged since President Obama took office.
Repealing the 3-pecent withholding mandate is a positive step, but there are thousands of other anti-competitive mandates like it that must be repealed. My hope is for President Obama to stop campaigning for a few days, call Leader Reid and urge him to take up the "Forgotten 15" jobs bills that have passed the House and languished in the Senate. HR 674 passed with a strong, bipartisan majority; there's no reason why that trend can't continue.
To close this week's Quayle Chronicle, I'd like to remind everyone that Governor Brewer has ordered that all state flags be flown at half-staff tomorrow (Monday, October 31) in honor of Army Specialist Michael D. Elm who died while defending the cause of freedom in Khowst, Afghanistan. Spc. Elm was a native of Phoenix. Take a moment tomorrow to honor his sacrifice and please continue to keep his friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.
Thanks for reading.