The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Jessica Straus on

Good Morning –

With summer just around the corner, American families normally planning summer vacations are staying home, citing concerns about the cost of energy. More than three-quarters of Americans say gas prices are a top concern and an overwhelming 61 percent disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the issue – and there’s no question why. President Obama’s failed energy policies have stifled energy production, contributing to higher gas prices and hindering job creation.

In an effort to clean up the Administration's mess, the House Energy Action Team has unveiled the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act that will reduce energy costs burdening working families and small businesses trying to keep the lights on. As Leader Cantor said yesterday, “Thousands of jobs have been lost as a result of the President’s energy policies. We unveiled our pro-growth energy package that will develop our nation’s energy resources, help create thousands of jobs and boost economic growth.”

Today In History: In 1913, Hudson Stuck, an Alaskan missionary and three others, completed the first successful ascent of Mt. McKinley. Standing at 20,320 feet, Mt. McKinley is the highest point on the North American continent.

Birthdays: Rep. Mike Pence, Michael Cera, Prince, Tom Jones, Dean Martin, Liam Neeson, Allen Iverson, Anna Kournikova, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Mark Lowe

Here are the Top 7 things you need to know today…

1. State Of Play: Leader Cantor: We’re Not Going To Let Taxes Go Up On Anybody. As lawmakers brace for the fiscal cliff that has widely become known in the nation’s capital as “Taxmageddon,” Congressional Republicans set out today to present a unified front as the top leaders from both chambers urged Democrats to extend all of the current tax rates for at least one year…If the tax cuts expire at the end of the year, joint filers making more than $250,000 per year would see their taxes increase, as would individuals making more than $200,000 annually. President Obama and Congressional Democrats prefer to extend only the current tax cuts for the middle class taxpayers, and believe that the rates for the highest earners should return to tax levels in place during the Clinton administration…Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Democrats “are now actually coming to the realization we got to do everything we can to start growing this economy.” He called on Democrats to join Republicans to “say it to the American people once and for all: we’re not going to let tax rates to go up on anybody.” The House is expected to vote on a Republican proposal to extend all of the current tax rates some time before the August recess. ABC News

2. Obamanomics: Editorial: Continuing To Borrow And Spend Is A Recipe For Economic Disaster. There’s nothing stimulating about the current state of the global economy. Job creation is on the decline in the United States, and the European Union is in the third year of a worsening debt crisis. Growth is nowhere to be found on either side of the Atlantic…We’re borrowing so much already that the deficit this year is expected to be $1.2 trillion. That is more than the $831 billion spent under President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the so-called stimulus. If the big spenders were right, that should have been plenty to get the economy moving, yet our annual growth rate is a paltry 1.9 percent and the rate of job creation has been falling…As Stanford economist John Taylor estimated, at the height of the Obama administration’s stimulus spending binge, ARRA reached 0.21 percent of gross domestic product, and federal infrastructure spending was 0.05 percent of GDP. That spending spree didn’t get the economy going, but it did come with a price…There’s nothing productive about the government sector. The solution to America’s economic woes won’t be found in what government can do, but what the private sector is allowed to do. It’s time to admit the easy money, borrow-and-spend policies have failed and return to the limited-government principles that allow entrepreneurs to succeed. Washington Times

3. Energy Focus: Whip McCarthy Unveils Bill To Boost Domestic Energy Production And Create Jobs. House Republicans unveiled a comprehensive energy package today meant to show voters that GOP members are working to keep gas prices down and make the United States less reliant on foreign oil by pushing to expand domestic energy production. The proposal, known as the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act, includes seven bills that would do everything from requiring a plan to expand energy production and exploration on federal lands if the president taps into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to easing barriers to accessing permits to drill on federal lands…Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the Republican Whip in the House who's leading the energy efforts, said that doesn't mean consumers feel they are paying a fair price. "I don't know, I just filled up at $4.25 a gallon so gas prices are almost at 100 percent more than when the president took office," said McCarthy. "The uncertainty in that, the disposable income it takes, and most importantly our money is going overseas to somewhere else when we can produce it right here in America." CBS News

4. Happening Today: House Will Vote To Repeal ObamaCare’s Medical Device Tax, Protect Innovation. The medical device industry has brought incredible advances to the practice of medicine in recent decades. This diverse industry, ranging from CT and MR machines to laboratory diagnostic instruments and pacemakers, is a source of extraordinary medical innovations as well as thousands of well paying jobs in the U.S. Unfortunately, this innovative industry is under threat due to the Medical Device Tax, a 2.3% excise tax on the U.S. sale of medical devices. This tax is a significant burden on the industry and will amount to an even more substantial impact than first estimated. The true cost of the tax over the next 10 years is estimated at $30 billion. A tax of this magnitude will be deeply felt by the industry and by the health care system as it creates a more difficult environment to create jobs and develop new life-saving innovations…Congress has the opportunity to ensure that companies like Siemens are able to create the next generation of life-saving medical devices and protect American jobs by repealing the Medical Device Tax. The Hill

5. Health Care: Poll: More Than 70 Percent Of Americans Want ObamaCare Repealed. More than two-thirds of Americans hope the Supreme Court will overturn some or all of the 2010 health care law, according to a new poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News. Just 24 percent said they hoped the court “would keep the entire health care law in place.” The Supreme Court is expected to decide a challenge to the law by the end of this month. Forty-one percent of those surveyed said the court should strike down the entire law, and another 27 percent said the justices should overturn only the individual mandate, which requires most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty…More than 70 percent of independent voters said they wanted to see some or all of the law struck down, with a majority saying they hoped to see the whole law overturned. Twenty-two percent of independents said they hoped the entire law would survive. NYT

6. Keeping Tabs: Speaker Boehner & Leader Cantor To Obama: Scrap Vegas Speech, Work With Us On Student Loans. The top two Republicans in the House are urging President Obama to cancel a scheduled event in Las Vegas on Thursday and instead work with Congress to prevent an increase in student loan rates. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) released a letter to President Obama on Wednesday taking him to task for ignoring their offer on a student loan bill. Obama has hammered congressional Republicans for blocking a bill to keep in place student loan interest rates that are set to double on July 1. House Republicans passed their own version of a student loan bill last month over a presidential veto threat. In a bid to break the impasse, GOP leaders sent Obama a letter last week presenting two options in his own budget to offset the cost of the program. The president is headed to Nevada on Thursday for an event aimed at pressuring Congress to act on the student loan rates. “With all of the great economic challenges facing our country, there is no reason to manufacture political fights where there is no policy disagreement,” Boehner and Cantor wrote. “That’s why we cannot understand why you, without having responded to our latest offer, would schedule a campaign-style event in Nevada tomorrow to discuss student loan rates.” The Hill

7. Committee Check: Reps. Foxx & McKeon: Let’s Replace Failed Job Training System With One That Works. Nearly 13 million Americans are searching for work, yet 3.7 million jobs remain open and unfilled. Nurses, software developers, and truck drivers are all in high demand yet employers can’t find enough skilled labor. Imagine participating in a government program that doesn’t prepare you for employment in your local community and you will understand the frustration countless workers face. With unemployment above 8 percent for more than three years and the national debt approaching $16 trillion, we cannot ignore a broken system any longer. The time for studying the problem is over. We are determined to change the status quo and turn the president's words into action. Through a series of commonsense improvements, the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 (H.R. 4297) will put us on the path toward more effective and efficient employment assistance…the legislation provides greater accountability and transparency over the use of taxpayer dollars. The bill requires common performance measures that will allow the public to judge the success of programs without burying local leaders under a mountain of paperwork. Washington Examiner

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