Though the slight decrease in national unemployment is welcome news, unemployment remains high and the economy is still not creating enough new jobs. We need to work together to provide more job opportunities for families and individuals, especially when they're facing even greater demands on their budgets during the holiday season.
Today, the House will vote on the Regulatory Accountability Act, an important part of our effort to spur growth and hiring by requiring agencies to reduce the regulatory burdens hindering the small businesses we are counting on to create jobs. The President has said he wants to work with Congress and improve the regulatory process to boost job creation, and we hope that he will stand by that commitment.
Today In History: In 1823, during his annual address to Congress, President James Monroe proclaims a new U.S. foreign policy initiative that becomes known as the "Monroe Doctrine."
Birthdays: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Cal Thomas, Aaron Rogers, and Britney Spears Tomorrow: Rep. Jim Renacci and Amanda Seyfried
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …
State Of Play: House Republican Leaders Call on President Obama, Senate Democrats To Act On The House-Passed Bipartisan Jobs Bills
Speaker Boehner: President Obama Should Call On Harry Reid To Hold Votes On The Bipartisan House-Passed Jobs Bills. There are now 25 bipartisan jobs bills passed by the House awaiting a vote in the Senate. The key to getting all of these jobs measures enacted is the United States Senate. President Obama should use this opportunity to call on Senate Democrats to immediately give these bipartisan bills the vote they deserve. Press Release
Leader Cantor: It’s Time For The Senate To End The Political Show and Starting Voting On The More Than 20 Bipartisan Jobs Bills Sitting In Front Of Them. “During the holidays, it’s always comforting to see an uptick in seasonal hiring, but far too many people still remain out of work and the economy still faces systemic problems. Unemployment has remained high and economic uncertainty has prevailed because of the constant threat of tax increases from Washington Democrats and the Obama Administration. … “The House continues to pass bipartisan jobs bills, but we need the President and his party to work with us to promote business growth and hiring right away. Time and again, I’ve heard small businessmen and women say that tax and regulatory uncertainty are preventing them from investing, growing their businesses and hiring new workers. Despite the needs of job creators, the President and Senate Democrats continue to ignore common sense efforts to remove burdensome regulations and promote an environment for job creation. To date, the House has passed more than 20 bipartisan jobs bills, but unfortunately our colleagues in the Senate are much more interested in political show votes than working together to improve the economy. Press Release
Whip McCarthy: It’s Time For Senate Democrats To Hold A Vote On The House-Passed Bipartisan Jobs Bills. “By the close of business today, the House will have sent more than 20 bipartisan jobs bills to the Senate that Leader Reid continues to block. It’s time for Senate Democrats to take these bills up so we can get the 14 million Americans that are unemployed back to work.” The Washington Post
• Jobs Tracker: View The List Of Bills Awaiting Action In The Senate HERE
The Road Ahead: November Unemployment Report Reinforces The Need For Pro-Growth Jobs Policies - Not Tax Hikes
A Very Worrisome Fact: More Americans Left The Workforce Than Found Jobs. A worrisome drop in the size of the U.S. workforce means that even with a big decline in the unemployment rate in November, it's still not time to break out the champagne. … The fall in the unemployment rate was aided by 315,000 people leaving the workforce. That pushed the participation rate, a ratio of the amount of the population in the labor force, down to 64.0 percent. Those who exited the workforce, many of whom gave up on looking for work, outnumbered the 278,000 people who found jobs, according the Labor Department's household survey, which is separate from payrolls data. Reuters
Over 300,000 Americans Gave Up Looking For Work. Still, one reason the unemployment rate fell so much was because roughly 315,000 people gave up looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed. The Associated Press
• Why The Focus Needs To Be On Pro-Growth Policies, Not Tax Hikes: The “Real Unemployment” Rate Is 15.6% CNBC
State Of Play (2): The House Continues To Act On Jobs
House Passes Bipartisan Jobs Bill Aimed At Easing The Impact Of The Administration's Regulations On Small Business. The House on Thursday passed a bill that would require federal agencies to take more care to measure the effect of regulations on small companies, and provide alternatives to rules that might impede small business growth. Members voted 263-159 in favor of the bill; more than two dozen Democrats voted for it. The bill, H.R. 527, would also require a review of past rules, and give small companies more authority to fight rules they say are too burdensome. The legislation is the latest of several proposals that Republicans have advanced in the name of trying to create a more hospitable environment for job creation. House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) said the bill would remove several loopholes that federal agencies have used to avoid complying with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), which was meant to ensure federal rules are mindful of small companies. … “the reality is that H.R. 527 will force agencies to consider how their actions affect small businesses and other small entities. "More importantly, if the effects are significant, agencies, not small entities, will have to develop less burdensome and costly alternatives," Graves added. The Hill
• Leader Cantor On The Latest Bipartisan Effort To Boost Small Business: “This bill provides a much-needed update to existing law, and check on the Administration, by giving small businesses the opportunity to participate in the regulatory process and requiring agencies in Washington to assess the cost of new regulations. … For months, President Obama has talked about improving the regulatory environment in this country, and I hope he will support this bipartisan, common sense bill to help small business owners create jobs and expand their businesses.” Press Release
State Of Play (3): Political Theatre Reigns Supreme In The Democrat-Controlled Senate
The Senate Democrats’ Proposal Would Slam Small Business Job Creators. Mr. Reid's surcharge—which would hit incomes of $1 million and above—would slam small business job creators. Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that taxpayers will declare about $1.2 trillion of business income in 2013. Only a fraction of those small business owners and Subchapter S companies will have a net income above $1 million, but Joint Tax finds that 34% of that $1.2 trillion is on tax returns with "modified AGI [adjusted gross income] in excess of $1 million." This means about $400 billion of business income would be subject to Mr. Reid's profits surtax. The Wall Street Journal
• “The Real Goal” Of Senate Democrats Isn’t To Pass Anything … So here's the latest Democratic growth plan: Pay for a temporary tax cut that has already proven not to create jobs with a permanent tax increase that almost certainly will cost jobs. That's the essence of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's plan to finance a one-year payroll tax cut with a 3.25% income tax surcharge on upper-income Americans that would last for at least 10 years. Mr. Reid knows it can't pass the House, and as we went to press it looked likely to fail even in the Senate. But this is the way it goes in the Senate these days where the real goal isn't to pass anything but to put Senate Republicans on the class-warfare spot. … Like the entire Democratic agenda these days, Mr. Reid's tax gambit is preoccupied with income redistribution and politics. The Wall Street Journal
Rahm Says He Will Testify On Solyndra. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday that he's open to testifying before a House panel investigating Solyndra. "Listen, if I'm called, I will testify," Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff, told reporters during an unrelated press conference, according to NBC Chicago. Politico
Perspective: Only President Carter Has Had Lower Approval Ratings In His Third Year In Office Than President Obama. President Obama's 43% average job approval rating last month ranks as one of the lowest for an elected president in November of his third year in office. Only Jimmy Carter had a lower rating, at 40%. Gallup
The Spirit Of Enterprise: Brooks Column Echoes Cantor On Fair Shot: People who work hard and play by the rules should have a fair shot at prosperity. Money should go to people on the basis of merit and enterprise. Self-control should be rewarded while laziness and self-indulgence should not. Community institutions should nurture responsibility and fairness. The New York Times
• Flashback: Leader Cantor’s Speech: A Fair Shot at the American Dream and Economic Growth