House Republicans are leading the way with real, bipartisan solutions that will create a stronger economy and a more certain future for our country. Next week the President will sign our JOBS Act and STOCK Act into law. These bipartisan measures championed by Leader Cantor represent areas where Democrats joined Republicans to deliver real results for the American people by improving the way our government works, and moving the dial on job creation and economic growth. We should build on this momentum, and continue working together on areas of agreement and produce solutions that address our nation’s challenges. Next month, the House will vote on the Small Business Tax Cut, and we hope we can come together to help small businesses and job creators in this country to grow and hire.
Today In History: In 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr. President Reagan was shot in the left lung, and the .22 caliber bullet just missed his heart. In an impressive feat for a 70-year-old man with a collapsed lung, he walked into George Washington University Hospital under his own power. As he was treated and prepared for surgery, he was in good spirits and quipped to his wife, Nancy, ''Honey, I forgot to duck,'' and to his surgeons, "Please tell me you're Republicans." The next day, President Reagan resumed some of his executive duties and signed a piece of legislation from his hospital bed.
Birthdays: Warren Beatty, Eric Clapton, MC Hammer, Piers Morgan, Celine Dion, Norah Jones and Vincent Van Gogh
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …
State Of Play: House Republicans Produce A Pro-Growth, Solutions-Oriented Budget, As Democrats Fail To Put Forward A Serious Plan
The Ryan Budget Is The Only Serious Governing Document In Town, But Will Likely Fall Victim To Senate Democrats’ Refusal To Lead. It's true that Mr. Ryan's budget has no chance in the Senate, but then nothing does. Democrats under Harry Reid haven't passed any budget in 1,065 days, and the Majority Leader has already said he plans to do nothing again this year. … Mr. Ryan's budget is the only serious governing document in town. Democrats will spend the next six months attacking it while they go another year without a budget of their own. Amazingly, Mr. Obama calls the Republicans the "do nothing" party. The Wall Street Journal
• Speaker Boehner: It’s Time For Senate Democrats To Step Up, Show Leadership and Muster The Courage To Pass A Budget. The United States Senate – it’s been 1,065 days since they passed a budget, 1,065 days, almost three years since they’ve had the courage to show the American people what their solutions are. I think it's high time that if we're serious about solving America's fiscal problems, the first step is actually doing a budget.
• Leader Cantor: House Republicans Are Making The Tough Decisions, It’s Time For The President and Senate Democrats Do The Same. The Democratic-controlled Senate has failed to pass a budget in over 1,000 days, shirking its responsibility to the American people. And the President has refused to put forth any serious solution to pay down the historic debt and deficit that he helped create. In fact, the President’s budget will actually aggravate the nation’s problems. President Obama’s budget saddles the American people with massive tax increases, puts more burdens on job creators, weakens our military and fails to provide a plan to save our entitlement programs. I believe these policies will fundamentally change our nation for the worse.
• Chairman Ryan: Empty Promises Don’t Pay The Bills, The Path To Prosperity Reforms and Modernizes Government To Prevent A Debt Explosion From Crippling Our Nation. Empty promises from Washington won’t pay our bills, strengthen our health and retirement programs, fix our economy or create jobs. Such irresponsibility will, however, lead to a debt crisis that will fundamentally change America for the worse. The Path to Prosperity budget tackles our generation’s greatest domestic challenge: reforming and modernizing government to prevent an explosion of debt from crippling our nation and robbing our children of their future.
Reminder: The House Passed Budget Will Not Raise Taxes. The House GOP's budget … would restructure Medicare for future beneficiaries to allow those 55 and younger to opt out of the system and purchase private insurance with a federal subsidy. On other health care policies, the Ryan budget would fully repeal the president's health care law and turn Medicaid into a block grant program with more state control of how the funds are spend. There are no tax increases in the budget … USA Today
For Those Keeping Score: President Obama’s Budget Got 0 Votes In The House. Who says bipartisanship is dead in Washington? House Republicans played the dastardly trick of putting President Obama's budget proposal to a floor vote on Wednesday, and the verdict was a unanimous defeat—414-0. Fifteen Democrats did the White House the favor of not voting on the measure that would raise taxes by $1.9 trillion. The repudiation of Mr. Obama's budget was one of several votes this week that revealed the state of fiscal politics in this election year. Most notably, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan's budget passed 228-191 on Thursday, amid Democratic chortling for the second straight year that this will cost Republicans their majority because it dares to reform Medicare. Most Republicans apparently disagree. Mr. Ryan lost only 10 Republicans, including three conservatives who wanted to make a statement that the proposal didn't balance the budget fast enough. The Wall Street Journal
Small Business Owners Speak Out On How The Democrats’ Failure To Seriously Address The Growing National Debt Has A Negative Impact On Job Creation
(Courtesy Of The Small Business Committee’s interactive website, Small Biz Open Mic)
• “The inability of Congress and the White House to agree on the federal budget is a major source of uncertainty for my business. This is no way to run a country and it makes it challenging for those of us in small business to run our companies. I'd like to hire in 2012, but with no budget certainty, I'm having to put those plans on hold.” – Edward Pope of Unico Technology CO Ltd in Westlake Village, CA, October 29th, 2011.
• “As a small business owner, it is very difficult to hire. While the burden has been placed on small businesses to hire and help grow the economy, the government and other issues make it a difficult objective to achieve. The federal government has an "anti-business aura" with large debts leaving uncertainty about the future of our country. With these kinds of issues facing small businesses, it makes it nearly impossible for small businesses to thrive and prosper.” – James Cillessen of Interstate Electrical Contractors, Inc in Wheat Ridge, CO, September 27, 2011.
• "The biggest hurdle is doing business in a Country where government has allowed public debt to accumulate to the point of instability. Stability is necessary for long range investment and planning, the things that create real jobs." – Brian Olson of Imperial Coffee in Pierre, SD, January 29, 2012.
Pro-Growth: House Republicans Continue To Work To Boost America’s Engine For Growth – Small Business
Chairman Camp: Leader Cantor’s 20% Small Biz Tax Cut Frees Up Resources So Small Businesses Can Start Hiring During This Slow Recovery. If approved by the full house, the legislation would allow businesses with fewer than 500 employees to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their active business income and applies to business owners who pay their taxes at the individual or corporate level. "The Small Business Tax Cut Act provides the help that small businesses need right now," Camp said in a release. "This deduction can free up resources so a small business can invest, hire another worker or provide a raise to an employee – something too many employers haven’t been able to do in this weak and slowly recovering economy." MLive
• Leader Cantor: The 20% Small Business Tax Cut Will Allow Small Businessmen And Women To Retain More Of Their Hard Earned Cash And Invest It To Grow Their Business and Hire More Workers. Majority Leader Eric Cantor has indicated the legislation is expected to go before the House of Representatives for a vote in mid-April, around Tax Day. "It doesn't matter how you are organized. It is money straight to the bottom line of the small businessman and woman to be able to retain more of the monies earned to be able to invest back in those businesses and create more jobs," Cantor said in a release. MLive
The JOBS Act Won’t Just Benefit Tech Companies … Much of the talk around the Jobs Act has centered on the technology sector, but the biggest impact could land on far more prosaic ventures, investors and analysts say. … The sectors with the most new activity are construction, professional and other services, and retail, he said. Entrepreneurs say those are the businesses most likely to benefit from a key provision in the Jobs Act known as crowdfunding. … "We have gotten introductions to all relevant VCs (Venture Capitalists) in the consumer-product space and they've all said: 'You're too early,'" said Sally Jones, who started the kiddy-snack company, Giddy, two years ago. Never mind that Giddy products are in 250 Targets, 30 Whole Foods and other retailers around the country. The potential investors wanted to see $5 million to $10 million in revenue and Giddy has not yet hit that mark. Under the new law, it will be easier for Jones to tap individual investors who would be satisfied with steady growth rather than the promise of a huge return. … Caldbeck believes consumer-products companies will benefit most from increased exposure to potential investors. Reuters
The Road Ahead: Even Democrats Are Starting To See That President Obama’s Energy Policies Are Anything But “All Of The Above”
Senate Dem: “I’m Not Convinced” President Obama Is Really Doing Everything He Could Be To Encourage Domestic Oil Production. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D., La.) on Thursday appeared displeased with the Obama administration’s energy policies. “When people say we’re drilling everywhere—well, we’re not drilling everywhere!” Landrieu told Sen. Jeff Merkley (D., Ore.) in a conversation outside the Senate chamber. … Asked by the Washington Free Beacon if she thought the president was really doing everything in his power to encourage domestic oil production, Landrieu responded: “No, I’m not convinced that’s true. I mean, we’ve seen evidence to the contrary in the Gulf [of Mexico].” Washington Free Beacon
• Another Dem Senator: The Obama Administration Has Fully Engaged In A War On Coal. Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin called the proposal "wrong-headed" and said it effectively prevents construction of any new coal-fired plants. "This EPA is fully engaging in a war on coal," he said, "even though this country will continue to rely on coal as an affordable, stable and abundant energy source for decades to come." Businessweek
President Obama’s Anti-Domestic Energy Agenda. The policy of the Obama administration has been not to increase the energy supplies that are so critical to our nation's economic health, but to limit them, to increase energy prices, and to make energy more expensive. Eliminating tax deductions for the oil and gas industries is at the top of the President's list, which would increase the price of gasoline and home heating oil for everyone. But this fits in with the Obama administration's overall inclination to hamper domestic production, whether through slowness in granting new permits or refusal to open new areas for exploration. In fact oil, production on federal lands was flat between 2009 to 2011, while production on nonfederal lands increased almost 7%. And it is not just petroleum. Mr. Obama's Environmental Protection Agency wants to increase regulation of coal-fueled electricity plants, which produce almost half of our electricity, so as to drive up the price of electricity and force plants to close. None of this should be surprising, for as we know, Obama's energy secretary, Steven Chu, told The Wall Street Journal in 2008 that we must "figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." The president admitted that his cap-and-trade energy proposals, had they come to pass, would cause energy prices to "skyrocket" and bankrupt coal companies. In the Mr. Obama's words, coal fired plants can be built, but if they are, "it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum" for emitting the greenhouse gases. The Wall Street Journal
President Obama Continues The Façade Of Claiming Credit For Issues He Had Little Or Nothing To Do With. Rather than admit that the administration boosted the mileage of pipelines by just 1 percent, the White House opted to spin it into “circle the Earth.” Moreover, Obama also was claiming credit for some pipelines that required little or no administration input. The Washington Post
President Obama’s Failed Economic Policies Are To Blame For The Slow, Weak Recovery. Nearly three years after the Great Recession officially ended, the jobless rate is still above 8 percent — the longest stretch of such high unemployment since the Great Depression. Add back in all the discouraged job seekers and the part-timers who wished they had full-time gigs, and the unemployment rate is just shy of 15 percent. … All in all, Obama’s economic rebound kind of feels more like a bust than a boom. … Judge Obamanomics on a sliding scale, because the president was dealt such an awful hand coming into office. Give him another four years to show what miracles the wonder-working power of more government spending, regulation and taxes can conjure. But this excuse doesn’t quite make it off the runway. A Federal Reserve study from late last year looked at the behavior of recoveries from recessions across 59 advanced and emerging market economies during the last 40 years. The Fed found, to no great surprise, that recoveries “tend to be faster” after severe recessions, such as the one we just had. It’s the “rubber-band effect”: The deeper the downturn, the more robust the rebound — unless government messes things up. .. While one president cut long-term marginal tax rates, the other tried a massive burst of federal spending. One empowered private enterprise; the other empowered government. Of course, economies will eventually recover on their own, as this one seems finally to be doing. But Obamanomics shouldn’t get much credit for it. New York Post
ObamaCare Proves Harder To Defend Than Nancy Pelosi Previously Thought. Who can forget Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, in a tone fairly dripping with incredulity and impatience, asking a reporter: "Are you serious? Are you serious?" The question she found so outlandish in 2009, as congressional Democrats were calculating how best to ram through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was this: "Madam Speaker, where, specifically, does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?" The question put her in a tough position: She could tell the truth -- that the Constitution does not grant Congress such authority. She could tell the whole truth -- that the Constitution does not grant Congress such authority, but Congress was going to do it anyway. Or she could put on an aggrieved tone, act as if the question were impertinent and hope everyone would forget it was ever asked. … This week, those very same questions resurfaced at the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue are no less pertinent questions than whether the legal foundation of this nation will continue to be a document that unmistakably limits congressional and federal power, that clearly reserves certain other powers to the states and that guarantees the right of the people themselves -- as individuals -- to conduct their own affairs without government interference, as long as they do not intrude on the rights of others. The Plain Dealer