“Hello, I’m Cathy McMorris Rodgers, I have the privilege of representing Washington’s Fifth Congressional District, and I serve as vice chair of the House Republican Conference.
“‘Where are the jobs?’
“It’s the only question worth asking after yesterday’s unemployment report. Our economy is actually creating fewer jobs month-to-month right now. More than 14 million people are out of work. They’ve been unemployed, on average, for 40 weeks, a new record.
“The Obama Administration promised its ‘stimulus’ would keep unemployment below eight percent. Two and a half years later, the unemployment rate is more than nine percent and still rising. That’s unacceptable. America can do better.
“By and large, it’s uncertainty that’s holding our economy back, whether it’s uncertainty about our overwhelming debt, uncertainty about energy prices, or uncertainty about all the burdensome mandates coming down from Washington. Small business owners are pleading for government to just get out of the way.
“The Republican majority in the House has been listening. We’re focused on implementing our Plan for America’s Job Creators, which is designed to remove government barriers to private sector job growth – the kind of growth the ‘stimulus’ promised but failed to deliver. You can check out the details of our plan for yourself at Jobs.GOP.gov.
As a part of this blueprint, we’ve passed legislation to stop policies that drive up gas prices and expand domestic energy production to help lower costs and create jobs.
We’ve voted to modernize the patent system to help America’s innovators level the playing field.
And we’ve approved a budget that pays down our debt over time and makes Washington live within its means.
“Unfortunately, the Democrat-led Senate hasn’t considered any of these jobs bills. Not a single one. In fact, it’s been more than 800 days since the Senate last passed a budget.
“President Obama has said he’s open to job creation ideas from anyone in any party. If that’s the case, he should encourage Democrats in the Senate to take up the jobs bills the House has passed.
“From the look of things, the Democrats who run Washington don’t have a jobs plan; they have a spending agenda. They’re proposing a rehash of what’s already been tried: more spending, more taxes, and bigger government. These are the Washington-knows-best policies that steered us towards a dead end.
“If we’ve learned anything, it’s that we cannot spend, tax, or borrow our way to prosperity. To create jobs and set our country on a sound fiscal course, we must stop spending money we don’t have.
“That’s why Republicans have maintained there can be no increase in the national debt limit unless it is accompanied by serious spending cuts and reforms. To be truly serious, these cuts should exceed the amount by which President Obama wants the debt limit increased. And there can be no job-crushing tax hikes on families and small businesses.
“Washington Democrats disagree. They say that to reduce our out-of-control debt, the American people should sacrifice in the form of higher taxes. That’s where they’re wrong. The American people have already sacrificed in lost jobs, more debt, and chronic uncertainty. It’s time for Washington to do the sacrificing.
“Last month, more than 150 economists echoed this viewpoint. ‘We will not succeed in balancing the federal budget and overcoming the challenges of our debt,’ they wrote, ‘until we succeed in committing ourselves to government policies that allow our economy to grow.’ Tax hikes won’t help our economy grow – they would just make matters worse.
“If we do this right, we can reduce uncertainty in the short-term and pay down our debt over the long-term. That’s what our job creators need and that’s what our children deserve.
“Mr. President, Americans are asking you, ‘where are the jobs?’ We invite you to change course and work with us to empower, not burden, our nation’s small businesses, families, and entrepreneurs. We can do this if we work together.
“Again, you can learn more about the Republicans’ jobs plan at Jobs.GOP.gov. Thank you for listening.”
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