When President Barack Obama took office in 2009, he promised Americans he would cut our national debt in half by the end of his first term. He also promised if we passed the stimulus our national unemployment rate would stay below 8 percent. The end of the president's first term is quickly approaching and he has yet to fulfill the promises he made.
In the past three years, the president has collected more job-killing debt than was created between the presidencies of George Washington and George H.W. Bush -- putting our total deficit at $15.35 trillion. While the great state of Oklahoma has fared better than most states when it comes to unemployment, the rest of the nation is still struggling. Since Obama became president, almost 2 million more Americans are out of work, and our nation has witnessed unemployment rates of more than 8 percent every month he has been in office.
Leaders in the House of Representatives have been working tirelessly in pursuit of commonsense ways to encourage job creation by sending more than 30 jobs bills to the Senate, where 27 of them are still awaiting consideration.
One of the "Forgotten 27" jobs bills that hits home to the constituents of the Third Congressional District is H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act. This legislation, which I am a co-sponsor of, would have prevented a court order from going into effect that requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue permits for pesticide use near waterways. This is a duplicative measure as it's for the use of pesticides that are already federally regulated.
H.R. 872 passed the House with bipartisan support, but unfortunately is among the "forgotten 27" jobs bills stalled in the Senate. The court order went into effect on October 31, 2011, due to the Senate's inaction on this legislation. If the Senate would have taken action on this bill, we could have helped save Oklahoma's farmers and ranchers from being bogged down by more burdensome regulations that prevent job creation and economic prosperity. We must work to remove onerous regulations that are redundant and harmful to small businesses.
H.R. 872 is only one of the 27 jobs bills that will encourage private sector job creation without adding to our national debt. The House has also passed bills that would simplify the tax code, increase energy production, and restore fiscal confidence with budget and entitlement reform. President Obama and Senate leaders need to seek action on these "Forgotten 27" jobs bills. It is time for the president to quit holding back on the promises he made to Americans in 2009. Our country can't wait any longer to get our economy back on track and boost job creation.