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Public Statements

The Leader's Ledger


Location: Washington, DC

Good morning,

This week, Senate Democrats will finally take up the House-passed JOBS Act to roll back red tape and spur small businesses and startup companies to grow and create jobs. One important provision of this package removes regulations preventing businesses from going public. On average, over 90% of job growth occurs after a company goes public, but right now the regulatory costs of an initial public offering have stopped smaller businesses from taking this step. Despite overwhelming bipartisan support from the House, the President and job-creators across America, the SEC Chairwoman has decided defend these harmful regulations and potentially derail the JOBS Act. As the Wall Street Journal points out today, the SEC Chairwoman is, "hoping Senate Democrats will protect her regulatory power to stifle capital formation." Leader Reid and Senate Democrats must stop delaying this critical jobs measure and send the House-passed JOBS Act to the President's desk to produce real results for job creators and economic growth.

Today In History: In 1953, for the first time, audiences were able to sit in their living rooms and watch as the Academy Awards, are given out at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, California.

Birthdays: Rep. Mike Coffman, Bruce Willis, Glenn Close and Wyatt Earp Yesterday: President Grover Cleveland, Queen Latifah and Vanessa Williams

Here is what's in today's Ledger …

State Of Play: JOBS Act Vote In The Senate This Week -- Will Senate Dems Continue To Play Politics Or Boost Job Creation?

SEC Chair Looks To Senate Democrats To Protect Her Job-Crushing Regulatory Power. The public markets aren't likely to be fixed anytime soon, so it's worth enabling private markets to grow in the meantime. And as part of its Jobs Act last week, the House voted 390-23 to lift the SEC registration threshold to $50 million in revenues from the current $5 million--a useful change that the agency could have implemented itself. The bill now moves to the Senate, where SEC Chair Mary Schapiro is trying to stop it. She wrote a letter this week to the Senate claiming that provisions to expand private-market trading would somehow hurt those mostly affluent, sophisticated investors who are lucky enough to have access. Funny, she didn't say that when the bill was before the House, but now she is hoping Senate Democrats will protect her regulatory power to stifle capital formation. Of course the timing of the SEC's enforcement action was merely a coincidence. The Wall Street Journal

Will Senate Democrats Gum Up JOBS Act By Adding Unrelated Provisions To The Bill? Legislation that would make it easier for small businesses to get capital is in danger of dying in the Senate after sailing through the House last week. … Senate Democrats have reworked the bill … Senate Republicans, however, prefer the House bill. So it's not clear the Democratic version will get the 60 votes it needs to clear procedural hurdles in the Senate. "It's going to be tough," Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, told Politico. Biz Journals

States Get The Memo: Increase Investment In Startups, Say It Will Boost Job Creation. "This just provides us the opportunity to address more of [the deal flow] and fund deals that we would have previously passed on," said Tom Weithman, the program's managing director and vice president. "We're investing in what we believe will be high-growth, sustainable companies and we believe if we invest in those ... new jobs will be created and new revenue streams will be realized for the state," he said. The Washington Post

State Of Play (2): Americans Continue To Reject President Obama's Rhetoric On ObamaCare

Opposition To ObamaCare Remains Firm. The law has never earned majority support in ABC/Post polls -- and this update, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds a strong sense its critics are dominating the debate. Seventy percent of Americans report hearing mainly negative things about the law lately; just 19 percent say the buzz has been positive. Even among its supporters, 53 percent are hearing more negatives than positives. Among opponents this soars to 88 percent. Intensity of sentiment is more negative as well: Forty-one percent strongly oppose the law, while only a quarter strongly support it. The Obama administration has long had difficulty convincing Americans of the benefits of the law. In a January 2011 ABC/Post poll, for example, more people expected the law to increase rather than decrease the deficit (62-29 percent), hurt rather than help the economy (54-39 percent) and cut rather than create jobs (46-38 percent). ABC News

* 71% Of Americans Believe ObamaCare Will Add To The Deficit. YG Policy

* 64% Of Americans Believe ObamaCare Will NOT Lower Health Care Costs For Individuals, Businesses and The Federal Government. YG Policy

* 57% Of Americans Believe ObamaCare Will Be A Tax Increase On Families Earning Under 250,000 A Year. YG Policy

* 69% Say The Federal Government Does Not Have The Authority To Impose ObamaCare's Individual Mandate. Voters overall say the federal government does not have the authority for the individual mandate by a 69 to 24 percent margin. Voters of all three political persuasions believe the federal government does not have that authority: Republicans by 88 to 8 percent, Independents by 70 to 22 percent, and Democrats by 52 to 41 percent. YG Policy

* 67% Of Americans Say The Supreme Court Should Strike Down ObamaCare Or The Individual Mandate At A Minimum. This ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that Americans oppose the law overall by 52-41 percent. And 67 percent believe the high court should either ditch the law or at least the portion that requires nearly all Americans to have coverage. ABC News

Latest CBO Estimate Puts ObamaCare At Nearly DOUBLE Its Original Price Tag. You might have missed the news -- it's not the sort a lot of national outlets care to dwell on, for obvious reasons -- but the Congressional Budget Office's latest cost estimates for Obamacare are roughly double the estimates of previous years. The original forecast came in at $940 million. The new estimate puts the cost at $1.76 trillion. Shouldn't people have seen this coming? They should have -- and they did. Numerous opponents of the law said at the time that the estimates counted "six years of costs against 10 years of revenue," as Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli put it. … This fits the historical pattern, which shows -- with a few rare exceptions -- that government programs always wind up costing vastly more than original projections. So if the Supreme Court doesn't strike health-care reform down, expect future upward revisions. They'll be buried on the inside pages, between "Plane Lands Safely" and "Sun Rises in East." Richmond Times-Dispatch

The Road Ahead: Majority Of Americans Believe President Obama's Energy Policies Will Lead To Higher Gas Prices

58% Of Americans Say President Obama's Energy Policies Will Result In Higher Gas Prices. On energy, 58 percent say Obama's policies will result in gasoline prices increasing, while just 20 percent expect them to cut prices -- and by a 46-percent-to-36-percent margin, voters believe they will cause the United States to become even more dependent on foreign oil. The Hill

* President Obama's Failure To Address Soaring Gas Prices Is Costing Jobs, Forcing Small Businesses To Downsize. The high fuel prices take money away from the local economy as well. Now we are not able to afford to expand our business. We are not able to purchase the extra pieces of equipment that we need to stay competitive. We are not able to buy our materials and supplies at a cheaper rate. We are not able to hire more employees, nor offer raises or benefits to help our employees budget for rising fuel cost as well. As you can see, it is a lose-lose situation, especially for small businesses. We have gone from a crew of 17 employees down to a crew of only eight employees simply because we are trying to budget for these rising fuel cost. We are stuck in our contracts and unable to negotiate for a fuel price increase. We speak with the government contracting officer, but there is no empathy. When is it going to end? How are we going to be able to stay in business with all this uncertainty hanging over our heads? This is not a way to grow an economy. The Washington Post

Threatening To Raise Taxes On Energy Companies May Get Applause At Partisan Political Events, But It Won't Lower Gas Prices. Yet the president continues to use them as his rhetorical foil. Calling for higher taxes may bring applause at partisan political events. But it won't lower energy prices. We can't wave a magic wand to bring gasoline prices down. But increasing domestic crude oil development will reduce our reliance on energy from unstable parts of the world. That, and a healthy petroleum refining sector, will help mitigate price spikes that hurt our economy. The Wall Street Journal

Harold Ford: President Obama Needs To Reconsider His Keystone Decision. The president has announced that he will open more of U.S. federal land and offshore areas to oil exploration and development. This is an important step, but he needs to do more--specifically, he should reconsider his Keystone pipeline decision. Despite several years of study and a favorable State Department analysis, the administration has rejected Keystone XL's application for a construction permit. This pipeline could bring an additional 500,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada to the U.S. Instead, the project is in limbo. The Wall Street Journal

* Durbin, Senate Dems Will Continue To Support Policies That Lead To Higher Prices At The Pump. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) has been working with Democrats facing re-election to help organize and develop message amendments to counter the GOP on gas prices and the Keystone XL oil pipeline, another tool Republicans have used this year to attack the president on jobs. … The one energy item he's demanding a vote on now is ending tax subsidies for oil companies -- but that's simply a rehash of votes and bills from last year that went nowhere. And it isn't likely to end up as anything more than another show vote this year. Roll Call

Committee Check

Oversight To Question DOE Over "Manipulated Analysis" On Energy Loans. A Congressional committee that has been investigating the Energy Department's loan programs is adding to its line of attack on the eve of an appearance by the energy secretary before the panel. … at a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, the committee is to release a staff report that argues that in other instances the Energy Department overrode the objections of some of its professional staff members to pick aid recipients that were supposed to have innovative projects when, in fact, the technology was nothing new. "The Department of Energy manipulated analysis, ignored objections from career professionals and strategically modified loan evaluations in order to force project funding out the door," the committee's chairman, Representative Darrell Issa, Republican of California, said in a statement. The New York Times

Keeping Tabs

62 % Of Americans Say President Obama's Policies Will Increase The Debt, 48% Say They Will Also Lead To Higher Unemployment. On economic issues, 62 percent of voters say Obama's policies will increase the debt, while 25 percent think they will cut it, and by a 48-percent-to-38-percent margin, voters believe those policies will increase joblessness rather than put people back to work. The Hill

We Can't Wait Update: Have You Seen Our New Website? Here, Have A Brochure … "We can't wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job," he said in Las Vegas in October. "Where they won't act, I will." But five months and almost three dozen announcements later, a closer look at the We Can't Wait program shows … Some initiatives involve little more than a new website, a pilot program or a brochure. Others are basically repackaged announcements of programs already well under way. Yet others are works in progress, waiting on the government bureaucracy to catch up with the urgency of Obama's "we can't wait" mantra. Politico

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