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Lamar's Columns - Looking Back on 2011


Location: Washington, DC

It's hard to believe a year has passed since Republicans took leadership of the House and I became Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Late last year, I outlined my legislative priorities as the new Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which included introducing legislation to free up millions of jobs for unemployed American workers, protect patents and copyrights, and keep children safe from Internet sex predators.

The Judiciary Committee has advanced those priorities and many other important pieces of legislation that address the top concerns of the American people -- strengthening our economy and creating more jobs.

After working for more than six years on patent reform legislation, my bill, the America Invents Act, was signed into law this fall.

The enactment of this legislation is a victory for America's innovators and job creators who rely on our patent system to develop new products. This bill brings our patent system into the 21st century, reduces frivolous litigation and streamlines the approval of patents. These reforms will help the innovators and job creators of today launch the products and businesses of tomorrow.

I was recently named Policymaker of the Year by POLITICO, a national publication covering Capitol Hill, for my work on patent reform legislation. The America Invents Act was the only major tech legislation signed into law in 2011 and I was one of only two House members to receive this honor.

To help protect jobs for Americans and legal workers I introduced the Legal Workforce Act, a bill to require all U.S. employers to use E-Verify.

This web-based program quickly identifies individuals working illegally in the United States by checking the Social Security numbers of new hires. It's free, quick and easy to use -- individuals eligible to work here are immediately confirmed 99.5% of the time. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 82% of likely voters support requiring all U.S. employers to use E-Verify.

The House Judiciary Committee recently approved the Legal Workforce Act. This legislation could open up millions of jobs for unemployed Americans by requiring all U.S. employers to use E-Verify.

We need to free up employers so they can create jobs for American workers. I sponsored two bills, The Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011 and the Regulatory Accountability Act, which would provide urgently needed help to small businesses and reduce unnecessary burdens on job creators.

Federal regulations cost our economy $1.75 trillion each year and regulatory compliance costs small businesses an estimated $10,500 per employee annually.

These bills are currently two of the 27 job creation bills that have passed the House but have not been considered by the Senate.

Another one of my priorities as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee is to put people who are involved in the child pornography industry out of business. I introduced legislation, the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act, which enables law enforcement officials to successfully locate and prosecute those who want to hurt our children. The House Judiciary Committee has approved this bill and Congress will vote on it soon.

In 2012, the Judiciary Committee will continue to advance legislation to create more jobs for Americans and help improve our economy.

I wish you and your family a very happy holiday season.

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