House Republicans are working to resolve the payroll tax holiday extension to ensure that taxes don't go up on any working American. As Leader Cantor made clear last week, House Republicans are working to pass the payroll tax holiday extension, “so that we can send a very certain signal to the people who are struggling out there working day in and day out, that their taxes will not go up.” House Republicans are committed to passing the payroll tax holiday extension to create certainty for families across the country; and continue our focus on boosting job creation and small business growth.
HAPPENING NOW: The YG Network Summit on Economic Growth And Job Creation, live on C-SPAN 2, is hosting a panel discussion on ways to spur private sector job growth and remove the obstacles preventing businesses from investing and growing. Leader Cantor and Rep. Tim Scott will discuss House Republican policies that will promote economic growth and boost small business job creation. The panel will conclude at 12:00PM.
Today In History: In 1985, during his State of the Union address, President Ronald Reagan defined some of the key concepts of his foreign policy, establishing what comes to be known as the "Reagan Doctrine."
Birthdays: President Ronald Reagan, Axl Rose, Tom Brokaw, Rip Torn, Allison Holker and Babe Ruth
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …
State Of Play: Cantor Calls For Action From Senate Democrats On Payroll
Leader Cantor: House Republicans Are Ready To Resolve Payroll Right Now. “The Republicans on the House side, led by Chairman Camp have been working, and are ready to make sure we resolve the issue of the payroll tax holiday extension right now.” Floor Remarks
Speaker Boehner: Senate Democrats Need To Get Serious About A Full-Year Payroll Extension. “With a tax hike threatening 160 million Americans at the end of this month, the Democrats in the Senate must get serious about negotiations on a full-year extension of the payroll tax holiday, as well as reforming and extending unemployment insurance – and doing it in a fiscally-responsible way. This week, the House voted to extend the current pay freeze for federal workers, including Members of Congress. It passed with more than 300 votes, including the vote of one of the Democratic conferees on the payroll/UI bill. That is exactly the sort of responsible, bipartisan spending cut that ought to be included in a bipartisan agreement to extend the payroll tax cut." Press Release
Cantor Calls On Senator Reid, Senate Democrats To Act On Payroll. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Friday said Senate Democrats are to blame for failure of members of the House and Senate to reach an agreement to extend the payroll tax holiday for a full year. … “I would ask the gentleman if he could please direct his urgency towards the majority leader in the Senate to see if we can get this off the dime and resolve the issue of the payroll tax," Cantor said. "The issue has been the reluctance on the gentleman's side of the aisle on the other side of the Capitol," Cantor added. "If I thought that working seven days a week, through weekends and all hours of the day and night would make a difference, I would be all for that as well." As evidence, Cantor noted that the House this week approved legislation with 309 House votes to freeze the pay of federal workers and members of Congress through 2013, which he said would free up $26 billion to help pay for the extended payroll tax holiday. But he said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has had no response to that proposal.” The Hill
• Read Leader Cantor’s Full Remarks On Payroll HERE
Obamanomics: The Majority Of Americans Continue To Reject President Obama’s Economic Policies
89% Of Americans View The State Of The Economy As Negative
• 53% Of Americans Disapprove Of President Obama’s Handling Of The Economy
• 51% Of Americans Disapprove Of President Obama’s Action On Job Creation
• 58% Of Americans Disapprove Of President Obama’s Handling Of The Deficit
Krugman: Long-Term Unemployment Remains At Levels Not Seen Since The Great Depression, The Economy Is Not Even Remotely O.K.. That said, our economy remains deeply depressed. As the Economic Policy Institute points out, we started 2012 with fewer workers employed than in January 2001 … we should never forget that the persistence of high unemployment inflicts enormous, continuing damage on our economy and our society, even if the unemployment rate is gradually declining. Bear in mind, in particular, the fact that long-term unemployment — the percentage of workers who have been out of work for six months or more — remains at levels not seen since the Great Depression. And each month that this goes on means more Americans permanently alienated from the work force, more families exhausting their savings, and, not least, more of our fellow citizens losing hope. … Full employment is still a distant dream — and that’s unacceptable. … So here’s what needs to be said about the latest numbers: yes, we’re doing a bit better, but no, things are not O.K. — not remotely O.K. This is still a terrible economy, and policy makers should be doing much more than they are to make it better. The New York Times
WSJ: This Is “By Far The Worst Jobs Recovery Since The Great Depression.” Even with the recent gains, this is also by far the worst jobs recovery since the Great Depression, and the U.S. still has about 5.5 million fewer jobs than it did before the recession began in December 2007. The Wall Street Journal
• Behind The Numbers: The Drop In Labor Force Participation Shows A Different Side Of The Jobs Equation. If the size of the U.S. labor force as a share of the total population was the same as it was when Barack Obama took office—65.7 percent then vs. 63.7 percent today—the U-3 unemployment rate would be 11.0 percent. But let’s not go all the way back to January 2009. In January 2011, the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent with a participation rate of 64.2 percent. If that were the participation rate today, the unemployment rate would be 8.9 percent, instead of 8.3 percent. As an analysis from Hamilton Place Strategies concludes, “Most of the shift of the past year is due not to the improvement in the labor market, but the continued drop in participation in the labor force.” … Then there’s the broader, U-6 measure of unemployment which includes the discouraged plus part-timers who wish they had full time work. That unemployment rate is still a sky-high 15.1 percent. The Enterprise Blog
Virginia: Not Just For Lovers – Jobs and Economic Growth Are Becoming Staples Of The Commonwealth
Virginia-Based Health Diagnostic Laboratory Sees Explosive Growth and Success. "We run about 60,000 tests a day," said Tonya Mallory, HDL's president and chief executive officer. "We have been growing at a rate of about 5 percent a week for the last 23 months." … Opened in 2009 with just a handful of employees, HDL has seen phenomenal growth. It now provides testing for physicians and medical practices in 45 states. It employs about 425 people, and is still adding jobs. … With the expansion announced in November, Health Diagnostic Laboratory will grow to about 240,000 square feet. By 2014, it should employ about 850 people, Mallory said. Richmond Times-Dispatch
Wine Industry Booming In Virginia. How important is wine to Virginia? About three-quarters-of-a-billion important. A new study released Thursday by Gov. Bob McDonnel l concluded that Virginia’s wine industry contributed $747 million to the Commonwealth’s economy in 2010. That’s up from $362 million in 2005, the last time the state conducted such a study. The increase outpaces even the stunning growth among Virginia’s wineries — from 129 in 2005 to 193 in 2010. The idea of Virginia as wine country seems to be catching on, too. In 2005, about 1 million people visited Virginia wineries, spending about $57 million. Five years later, 1.62 million visitors flexed their credit cards to the tune of $131 million, the study noted. … The number of full-time equivalent jobs at wineries and vineyards rose from 3,162 in 2005 to 4,753 in 2010, a 50 percent increase, and wages from jobs at wineries and vineyards increased from $84 million to $156 million, an 86 percent increase, during the same time period. The Washington Post
The Pelosi Effect II: Democrats Question Whether Pelosi Is An Asset Or A Liability. In 2010, Nancy Pelosi starred in $75 million worth of negative ads that helped Republicans win control of the House and wrest the speaker’s gavel from her. Now, the relative handful of moderate Democrats left say the fear of a rerun helps explain why so many of their breed are headed for the exits and why others ignored the pleas of party leaders to make comeback bids in 2012. … “What I think is really lost here is a lot of the retirements were preordained the minute Nancy Pelosi decided to run again for speaker,” one retiring centrist said in an interview last week. … It all leads to a hotly debated question in Democratic circles: Is Pelosi more an asset or a liability? … the former lawmaker said, the perception of Pelosi as a left-winger cost Democrats seats in 2010 and could again in 2012. … What should also be of concern to both the Blue Dogs and Pelosi is the number of relatively young moderates who are retiring from districts that they could win. That list includes Shuler and Reps. Mike Ross of Arkansas, Dan Boren of Oklahoma and Dennis Cardoza of California. Politico
AP Fact Check: President Obama Has Had Very Little To Do With Domestic Energy Production. You wouldn't know it from the Republicans, but these are boom times for American energy. And you wouldn't know it from President Barack Obama, but he has very little to do with that. … But he oversells the government's influence on the industry and ignores the fact that many wells coming into production were planned years ago, before he was president. … "He is implying it is because of his actions that it is happening, and frankly, nothing can be further from the truth," said Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., who heads the House Natural Resources Committee. "Where is the production coming from? It is coming from state and private lands," where the government has little control. The Associated Press
The FCC’s Failure To Free Up New Spectrum Stalls Growth and Negatively Impacts Consumers. The FCC has not kept up with the demand for bandwidth, especially as mobile users expect to be able to stream video and use other digital innovations. … "The last significant spectrum auction was nearly five years ago, and now this FCC has made it abundantly clear that they'll not allow significant M&A to help bridge their delays in freeing up new spectrum," Mr. Stephenson told analysts, referring to how regulators blocked the AT&T bid to buy T-Mobile as a way to get enough bandwidth to compete with market-leader Verizon. "It appears that the FCC is intent on picking winners and losers rather than letting these markets work." The result? "We pile more and more regulatory uncertainty on top of an industry that is the foundation for a lot of today's innovation." Mr. Stephenson added, "Growth cannot continue without more spectrum being cleared and brought to market. And despite all the speeches from the FCC, we're still waiting." … A House bill would require the FCC to allow all telecommunications companies to participate in the auction, without regulators picking winners and losers before the bidding even begins. The worry is that the FCC is reverting to its old practice of handpicking preferred owners of broadband, a form of industrial policy that's bad on principle, and would also reduce the fees going to the Treasury by limiting bidders. … Even market-leader Verizon can't provide the kind of fast connections common in Asia and even parts of Europe. Instead of bigger being bad, even the biggest U.S. providers are too bandwidth-constrained to provide world-class service. The Wall Street Journal