For the past three years, President Obama's policies have created more uncertainty for small businesses – making long-term economic recovery impossible. As Leader Cantor said in an interview with National Journal, if President Obama ‘is serious’ about some of the promises he made in his State of the Union Address – there are plenty of areas of common ground where we can work together to create jobs and boost the job engines of our country: small businesses. Hopefully, the President will take the opportunity to build on his SOTU promises and work with us to give small businesses more opportunity to start up, grow and create jobs.
Today In History: In 1979, "The Dukes of Hazzard," a television comedy about two good-old-boy cousins in the rural South and their 1969 Dodge Charger known as the General Lee, debuted on CBS.
Birthdays: House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy, Wayne Gretzky, Ellen DeGeneres, Eddie Van Halen, Bob Uecker, Paul Newman and Sarah Pompei
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …
State of Play: President Obama’s Actions On Jobs and Energy Don’t Match His Rhetoric
Editorial: The President’s Actions On Job Creation & Energy Independence Don’t Match His Rhetoric. The problem with Obama's speech is that his words don't match his actions. If you're keeping score, how many times did he mention his administration's profligate spending? How many times did he mention the administration's meddling with energy exploration? How many times did he defend the taking of an individual's right to decline health insurance? Nothing the administration has done so far supports the president's pledge to increase energy independence. Nothing the administration has done so far matches his rhetoric on stimulating jobs creation. Nothing the administration has done so far equals his pledge to restore common sense to the regulatory environment. The Oklahoman
Priorities: Talk Of Taxes Trumps Jobs In President Obama’s State Of The Union. Republicans have accused Obama of promoting the "politics of envy" and pursuing policies that kill jobs and hinder growth. They argue tax hikes would hurt small businesses and suppress job creation, a top concern of voters this year. … He mentioned taxes 34 times and jobs 32 times during his hourlong speech, emphasizing the two issues at the heart of this year's presidential campaign. But Obama seemed to put no blame on himself for a fragile economic recovery and high unemployment that could trip up his re-election bid. Reuters
• Reminder: President Obama Only Mentioned The Term “Small Business” 3 Times In His State Of The Union Address
Chairman Graves: House Republicans Are Committed To Focusing On Small Business Growth and Job Creation. As we begin the second year of the 112th Congress, we will continue to push policies that encourage small-business job creation. Unemployment is still very high at 8.5 percent. The rate of “underemployment,” which represents people who want to work but have stopped searching and those who are forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment, stands at a whopping 15.2 percent. … Our committee will continue to promote pro-growth policies that will help small businesses and fight regulations that keep them from growing and creating jobs. We will also closely monitor the barrage of health care regulations coming from this administration because small businesses continue to be burdened by health care compliance. Small businesses have been burdened by the constant threat of tax increases, inconsistent flow of credit, a cloud of federal debt, overreaching federal regulations and the looming health care law mandates. What they need is a better economic environment driven by fiscal discipline, a sustainable path of less government spending, lower taxes and fewer burdensome regulations. Roll Call
What President Obama’s Failed Economic Policies Have Produced – A Weak Economy With Subpar Growth That Will Lead To An “Incomplete” Recovery. The Federal Reserve, declaring that the economy would need help for years to come … The economy expanded “moderately” in recent weeks, the Fed said in a statement released after a two-day meeting of its policy-making committee, but jobs were still scarce …. The Fed forecast growth of up to 2.7 percent this year, up to 3.2 percent next year and up to 4 percent in 2014, but at the end of that period, the central bank projected that the recovery would still be incomplete. Workers would still be looking for jobs, and businesses would still be looking for customers. The New York Times
State Of Play(2): President Obama’s Energy Policies Are Anything But “All Of The Above”
Reeling White House Looks For Ways To Explain Why The President Said No To Keystone XL Pipeline and 20,000 New Jobs."Expanding offshore oil and gas production is a key component of our comprehensive energy strategy to grow America's energy economy, and will help us continue to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create jobs here at home," said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. President Obama will discuss his energy strategy today during speeches in Nevada and Colorado. In an announcement, the administration says Obama wants an "all-of-the-above" energy approach that includes traditional sources like oil and gas as well as new sources of "clean energy." USA Today
Leader Cantor: We Need To Get Serious About Exploring All Of Our Energy Resources. When it comes to energy policy, Cantor noted that the president “talked about the need for the ‘all of the above’ policy.” He added in an interview with National Journal: “We certainly believe that you need a diversified energy future. We are going to be a fossil-fuel economy.… If that’s what he meant, we want to work with him on that. It’s jobs and it’s an economic future that will bear fruit if we become serious about exploring our resources and allowing them to be explored.” National Journal
The Administration’s Supposed Pro-Energy, “All Of The Above” Rhetoric Does Not Match Anti-Energy Policies (From Natural Resources)
• The Obama Administration has released a new draft offshore drilling five-year lease plan that CLOSES the majority of the OCS to new energy production through 2017.
• The Administration’s draft five-year plan prohibits offshore drilling in NEW areas and only allows lease sales to occur in areas that are already open.
• The draft plan only allows lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic – leaving portions of Alaska and the entire Atlantic and Pacific Coasts off-limits to new energy production and job creation.
Chairman Upton, House Members Demand “Obama Memos” From White House. On Monday, The New Yorker published "The Obama Memos," Lizza's in-depth look at hundreds of pages of previously unreleased White House documents, including some involving the White House Office of Health Reform (WHOHR) and how it negotiated and decided upon health care reform legislation. In the letter sent to White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley on Tuesday, Chairman Fred Upton and three other members of the committee complain that their ongoing requests for these documents have been denied, despite President Barack Obama's promises to make such documents public. "This committee has been requesting information on this matter for over two years," the committee members write. "The White House has consistently refused our legitmate requests for information regarding this important piece of legislation, notwithstanding the fact that the president promised many times during the 2008 presidential campaign that the meetings and debates on any health care legislation would be broadcast to the public, and once in office promised to run the most open and transparent administration in history." Politico
Abdicating Leadership: Senate Democrats Haven’t Passed A Budget In 1002 Days Thanks In Large Part To Senator Chuck Schumer. The last day the Senate passed a budget was April 9, 2009. … As President Obama continues to shift the blame for his party’s gross irresponsibility by asserting falsely that House Republicans are putting party before country, the American people should be reminded that the Senate’s refusal to pass a budget is both deliberate and entirely political. The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call reported last summer that Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., was appointed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to lead the Senate Democrats’ messaging operation. Roll Call reported that Schumer “persuaded rank-and-file Senators earlier this month to abandon their desire for a Democratic budget so the party could focus on a tighter message of protecting Medicare and eliminating tax breaks for the wealthy.” Said a Democratic aide, “He led the fight in the Senate against releasing our budget. He backed the idea that a budget paints a giant target on your back unnecessarily when it’s not going to pass anyway.” The Union Leader