Our struggling economy has created a harsh environment for job creators. In the past few years, Washington has only been adding to the nation's job problem. Just take a look at the numbers: unemployment has been over 8 percent for 33 months and over one million Americans have lost their jobs since the President's trillion-dollar "stimulus' plan was enacted.
One year ago this month, frustrated Americans elected a new majority to the U.S. House to change the way Washington does business. When I came to Washington, a top focus of mine was cutting bureaucratic red tape so small businesses could continue to invest, expand and create jobs. That is still my goal.
My colleagues and I have focused on passing bipartisan, job-creating legislation here in the House. We have passed measures that would enhance our own domestic energy production and freeze some of the Environmental Protection Agency's most burdensome new regulations. Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refuses to bring our bipartisan bills to the floor of the Senate for an up or down vote. So far this year, we have sent 22 jobs bills to the Democratic-controlled Senate where they have sat untouched.
House Republicans are ready and willing to work with the President and Senator Reid. Some areas of recent common ground include the three free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, and the repeal of the so-called 1099 provision, which as a result of the president's new health care law, would have inundated small businesses with burdensome, unnecessary paperwork. We have also worked together to pass bills that would eliminate some regulatory roadblocks for small businesses.
Americans are tired of the politics. They want action. So while Senator Reid continues to play political games in the Senate, the House will continue working on bipartisan bills that would help grow our economy and create jobs. We can't wait any longer to boost job creation--not while millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet. The time is now for the House, Senate and the President to come together and make some responsible decisions for the good of this country.