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Public Statements

Republican Jobs Agenda

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. LONG. Mr. Speaker, I came to Congress as a small business owner. And as any small business owner will tell you, the government can't create jobs, only the private sector can.

I think it's easy to forget, but the United States Government does not have any money that it does not first take from productive citizens and businesses. When the government spends to create jobs, it has to take money from people who earned it and who would have spent it or invested it otherwise--the broken window effect, if you will. So the reality is that government spending trades productive private sector jobs for usually wasteful public sector jobs.

With record unemployment affecting families across the Nation, now is not the time to increase the public sector on the backs of the private sector and increase the burdens on our small businesses. Small businesses are the engine that drives this economy, and it's time for the government to get out of their way.

As part of the House GOP Plan for America's Job Creators, we've opposed the President whenever he wants to create new taxes or more regulations. So far this year, the House of Representatives has passed many bills that focus on job creation. These are real jobs bills that create real wealth-producing private sector jobs--not fake bills like the stimulus that didn't do anything but stimulate the national debt--bills that empower small business owners, fix the Tax Code to help job creators, increase competitiveness for U.S. manufacturers, encourage entrepreneurship and growth, maximize domestic energy production, and pay down America's unsustainable debt burden. Some of these have passed the Senate and gone on to become law, believe it or not. The free trade agreements, for instance--for which I am especially proud.

When 95 percent of the world's customers are outside of America, it's no surprise that jobs would be created as our companies are allowed to compete and expand on the world stage. In fact, it's estimated that by pursuing those agreements, we're creating up to a quarter of a million new jobs. Good jobs will be created right here in America at a time when jobs are badly needed.

House Republicans have also tried to fix our Tax Code. Complying with our confusing Tax Code costs Americans billions every year--over $160 billion in 2009 alone.

We need to get Washington out of the way by simplifying the Tax Code and lowering tax rates. We need a Tax Code that is flatter, fairer, and simpler, a Tax Code that creates jobs by making America more competitive. That's why I'm proud Congress passed the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act, which eliminated the 1099 form mess. The 1099 form created an unprecedented accounting and paperwork burden on small businesses across this country. A National Federation of Independent Business small business survey determined the form is the most expensive burden placed on small businesses by the Federal Government.

Another House jobs bill that has now become law is the America Invents Act, a bill that brings long-overdue patent reform. So three free trade agreements, a tax reform bill, and a patent reform bill--if you're counting. Out of the many jobs bills, only those have escaped the graveyard of the United States Senate. It seems that some would rather campaign and complain instead of doing what we know will create jobs. We know that throwing money at problems doesn't solve a thing. If it did, then all of our problems would have been solved with the stimulus. We know that eliminating burdensome overregulation and restrictions on job creators is a sure fire way to create jobs.

We need legislation that encourages entrepreneurship and growth. America has historically been on the cutting edge of innovation and technological development, but we are increasingly falling behind our global competitors. We must make it easier for existing businesses to grow and allow more start-up companies to flourish. That's why the Senate needs to pass the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act, the Consumer Financial Protection and Soundness Improvement Act, the Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act, Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation, the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act, the EPA Regulatory Relief Act, the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, and we need to fix the Tax Code.

The Gettysburg Address is 272 words; the Declaration of Independence, 1,500 words; the Constitution, 7,200 words; the Federal Tax Code, 10 million words.

Our Tax Code needs to be fixed, and that's why the Senate needs to pass the 3 percent withholding rule repeal, which would repeal the 3 percent withholding on our contractors' payments with Federal, State, and local governments.

This job-killing requirement would create costly new work for Federal, State, and local governments and hold the money hostage from government contractors. The IRS needs to learn that hurting businesses, cities, towns, and consumers during a recession is not going to get our economy back on track.

Much like the costly Form 1099 requirements that Congress repealed earlier this year, the 3 percent withholding rule would impose more burdens on cash-strapped employers and hurt job creation. Instead of focusing on job creation and economic growth, business and local governments will have to focus on enormous administrative and financial challenges.

Just today, we learned the leadership in the Senate has been burning the midnight oil figuring out a way to even gum up this 3 percent repeal.

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