We agree with the President, we can’t wait to pass measures that will boost economic growth and job creation. That is why today the House is moving forward with another part of the President’s jobs plan to repeal the 3 percent withholding rule, an unnecessary tax that would increase costs on businesses and governments at all levels. The repeal of this tax and its pay-for have been embraced by President, and there is no reason why this bill shouldn’t become law so that businesses can invest in growing and hiring more workers. At a time when economic growth is stifled by uncertainty and millions of people remain out work, we can’t wait to act on measures that will give businesses the confidence they need to get the economy going again. We hope the Senate will join the House and the Administration to prevent this harmful tax from going into effect.
Today In History: In 1904, New York City Mayor George McClellan takes the controls on the inaugural run of the city's innovative new rapid transit system: the subway.
Birthdays: President Teddy Roosevelt, John Cleese, Abbey Shilling, Michael Calderone, Nina Easton and Kristi Richards
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ...
State Of Play: Happening Today: The House Prepares To Send Its 17th Bipartisan Jobs Bill Over To The Senate
WH Supports Bipartisan Jobs Bill Set To Pass The House. The House on Wednesday evening approved a rule that will allow members to consider two bills — one to repeal a widely opposed withholding tax requirement, and another bill to pay for that repeal. Members approved the rule in a 253-172 vote. The main repeal bill is H.R. 674, which would eliminate the current requirement that government at all levels withhold 3 percent of payments to government contractors in order to ensure proper tax payments. That rule has never been implemented, and Republicans and Democrats are generally together in seeking to repeal it completely. ... A few House Democrats argued against this offset today, but their arguments were undercut by other House Democrats, and the Tuesday announcement that the Obama administration supports both bills. The Hill
• Rep. DesJarlais: The 3% Withholding Bill Is Another Example Of How Republicans Are Focused On Bipartisan Solutions. Since day one of the 112th Congress, House Republicans have been hard at work in developing solutions that will put Americans back to work. In fact, we have been successful in passing 16 bipartisan jobs bills. Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Reid has refused to even allow this legislation to be brought up for a vote on the Senate floor. ... I disagree with the President when he claims that House Republicans are unwilling to work with him in finding methods to create jobs. Of course, there are things that Republicans and Democrats are just not going to agree on, but my Republican colleagues and I have shown that we are willing to put those differences aside and work together on areas of common ground. ... in his jobs plan, President Obama asked for a delay in implementing a three percent withholding requirement on certain payments made to contractors doing business with federal, state and local governments, calling the rule a “burdensome withholding requirement that keeps capital out of the hands of jobs creators.” House Republicans agreed, and responded by introducing bipartisan legislation to repeal the three percent withholding requirement. The Chattanoogan
• Rep. Pearce: Repealing The 3% Withholding Rule Will Boost Job Growth. The planned repeal of the 3 percent withholding tax on contractors is especially important to New Mexico because of its devastated construction sector, say industry officials and the state’s congressional delegation. ... The repeal effort “has received bipartisan support for good reason,” Pearce said in a statement. “Allowing the government, at any level, to withhold an extra 3 percent out of payments to small businesses and job creators hinders job growth. Job growth is the solution to our current economic crisis …” Repeal will “ensure that small businesses contracting with the federal government will not be burdened in the future by a provision that withholds part of their payment,” Luján told the Journal. The Albuquerque Journal
State Of Play (2): House Republicans Work To Reduce The Burdens Stifling Growth For Businesses Small and Large
Regulations Are the Boot On Hiring's Neck. The roots of today’s economic troubles are hinted at in a new Gallup Poll of small business owners, which finds compliance with government regulations tops their “problem list.” Bigger businesses say the same. No one’s forgotten that Vegas resorts mogul Steve Wynn called Washington “the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime”; or that Bernie Marcus claims he could not have built Home Depot in the regulatory environment of today. Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro this month called today’s White House the “most anti-business administration in my lifetime.” Even Apple’s Steve Jobs reportedly gave President Obama an earful on regulation, invoking impediments to manufacturing in the U.S and more. Continental Energy CEO Harold Hamm, rebuffed by the president when describing the sheer torrent of domestic energy available and accessible, told the Wall Street Journal that Washington keeps “a regulatory boot at our necks and then turns around and asks: ‘Why aren’t you creating more jobs.’” Everyone’s talking about spending and flat taxes; but for healthy recovery, the hidden tax of regulation needs flattening too. Forbes
Its Simple: Onerous Regulations Cost Jobs; Hence Republicans Are Keeping Pressure On Senator Reid & Senate Democrats To Act On The Forgotten 15. Ah, but that’s just it, Mr. Hoyer. Regulations do deter hiring — even before they take effect. Whether we’re talking about Obamacare or EPA regulations, new requirements on businesses don’t exactly incentivize hiring — and often cost existing jobs. ... Compliance takes time and, thus, money away from businesses — money that could be used to hire workers. It’s really not that complicated: Every hour a business’ employee spends deciphering regulations or filling out paperwork is an hour that employee doesn’t do something else — something more productive — for the business. ... The House has already passed the 15 bills its leaders are begging the Senate to consider. So far, no piece of the president’s jobs proposal has passed the Democratically-controlled Senate. ... House Republicans are right to keep hammering the #Forgotten15. Again, they’ve already passed the House. Why won’t the Senate at least take a look at them? Hot Air
• Video: The Simple Truth About Washington Regulations and Jobs GOP Financial Services
Negative Effects Of President Obama’s Regulatory Agenda: It’s Harder For Small Businesses To “Make It In America.” The World Bank released its annual "Doing Business" report last week, and friends of the Obama Administration are crowing that it debunks the notion that the U.S. has become a regulatory jungle since President Obama took office. Maybe they should read it more carefully. ... In 2007, the U.S. ranked third in the "ease of starting a business" category. This year it ranks 13th. On the "paying taxes" front we've dropped to 72nd place from 63rd. The cost of starting a business, measured as a percentage of per capita income, has doubled to 1.4% from 0.7% in 2007. On "ease of registering property" the U.S. has dropped to 16th from tenth. In the "trading across borders" category, we've dropped nine spots to 20th. In 2007, the "cost to import," as measured in dollars per container, was $625. Today it's more than doubled to $1,315. The Wall Street Journal
The Road Ahead: Cantor Releases The Legislative Calendar For 2012
Majority Leader Cantor Releases 2012 Legislative Calendar. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Wednesday that he hopes to focus much of next year’s legislative work on jobs and the economy and would use a calendar based on regular, prolonged district work periods. In a “Dear Colleague” letter announcing the schedule, the Virginia Republican said he hopes the calendar will “create certainty, increase efficiency and productivity in the legislative process, protect committee time and afford Members the opportunity to gain valuable input from their constituents at home.” ... In a brief interview with Roll Call, Cantor said that schedule, combined with a largely predetermined process for the annual appropriations fight, should mean Republicans can remain focused on the economy — which is likely to remain voters’ top priority in the runup to next year’s elections. “We’re operating in a unique circumstance where you have a broad outline for the appropriations season” because of the debt deal, Cantor said. The debt deal’s spending guidelines “should allow for a much smoother appropriations process in the House and the Senate,” he said. “I think the main focus, obviously from a legislative standpoint, is going to be jobs and the economy and how we go about making a better environment for growth to occur,” Cantor added. Roll Call
• View The Calendar HERE
• Read The Dear Colleague Letter HERE
More Questionable Job Numbers Coming Out Of The White House. “Look, Candy, the six months before we took office, the bottom fell out. There were 5 million jobs lost. Before we got the first bill passed, another 3 million jobs lost. So we started off with an 8 million job deficit that wasn't of our making.” ... Biden made the claim above, and we nearly fell out of our chair. We knew the economy was bad when President Obama took office, but was it really that bad? ... Let’s break down the data, claim by claim: “The six months before we took office” We count 1.2 million jobs lost from July to December — not 5 million. “Before we got the first bill passed” We count 1.5 million jobs lost in January and February — not 3 million. So that totals 2.7 million jobs, instead of Biden’s 8 million. ... You almost need to footnote every aspect of Biden’s statement. The Washington Post
Chairman Ryan Talks Income Mobility. Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) ventured over to our digs at the Heritage Foundation yesterday morning to deliver one of the most thoughtful and effective defenses that I have ever heard of our free-enterprise system and of what he calls the “American idea.” ... he also seemed to draw a distinction between the routes one takes to acquire his or her wealth. The legitimate route requires hard work, self-sacrifice, innovation, risk-taking, and the other virtues we associate with the Horatio Alger stories of upward mobility. Government needs to get out of the way of these successful entrepreneurs. But there is also a subset of the wealthy who took a tainted route to riches, one that triggers what he calls “the real class warfare that threatens us.” This consists, he argues, of “a class of bureaucrats and connected crony capitalists trying to rise above the rest of us, call the shots, rig the rules, and preserve their place atop society.” The solution? Conservatives must mount an assault on corporate welfare in all its forms (earmarked spending, special-interest provisions in the tax code, and regulatory provisions that reward winners and penalize losers) ... National Review