The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Jessica Straus on

Spurring job creation and economic growth have been the focus of House Republicans since day one. Today we begin consideration of the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act that will accomplish both goals by increasing domestic energy supply and bringing down gas prices. Action on pro-growth energy policies can’t come soon enough for the whopping 80% of self-employed Americans who say high gas prices are hurting their businesses. If President Obama were serious about creating jobs and boosting economic growth, he would work with us on our all-of-the-above energy plan to increase our domestic energy supply, boost job creation and lower gas prices. Unfortunately, as Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings said this morning, “The Administration is no more serious about new American energy production than they are about new American job creation.”


Today In History: In 1782, Congress adopted the Great Seal of the United States. The Seal depicts a bald eagle, clutching an olive branch and arrows in its talons. Enclosed in the eagle’s beak is a banner inscribed with the Latin phrase, “E pluribus unum” translated to “Out of Many One.”

Birthdays: Lionel Richie, Nicole Kidman, Bob Villa, Charles Howell III, Errol Flynn, Audie Murphy, John Mahoney, John Goodman, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Jacques Offenbach

Here Are The Top Stories We’re Watching:

1. State Of Play: Whip McCarthy: The Domestic Energy & Jobs Act Promotes America’s Energy Self-Reliance, New Jobs. Consider this Administration’s energy policies. Instead of embracing an industry that is leading an American manufacturing renaissance through oil and gas development on private lands, this Administration has pursued a goal of gas prices as high as they are in Europe. The President has spent hundreds of millions on unworkable “solutions” like Solyndra while the Bureau of Labor Management has outstanding permits that account for approximately 65,000 sidelined jobs…Americans deserve an energy plan that embraces all our domestic resources, not singling out pet-projects at the expense of proven technology. America’s energy future could look a lot different -- it could look like North Dakota which is actually investing in a true all-of-the-above energy strategy. A state that has 3% unemployment -- the nation’s lowest, North Dakota recently became the second largest oil producing state, up from ninth, in less than six years. The 575,000 barrels per day North Dakota produces is helping to make America the fastest growing oil and natural gas producer worldwide.Human Events

2. The Economy: Obama Gets Poor Marks, 53% Disapprove Of Job He Is Doing With The Economy.Obama gets poor marks from some respondents for his handling of the nation’s economic situation. “He’s done a hatchet job on the economy,” says Larry Wilson, 49, a production supervisor at a corrugated box maker in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Wilson complains that prices are outstripping his salary and that the president is stifling business with excessive regulation. He’s anticipating a Romney presidency that will repair the damage. “I expect him to do something similar to what Reagan did: exude some confidence in the American people, not government,” Wilson says. Bloomberg

3. Tax Debate: Study Shows President’s Push For Higher Taxes Will Hit 53% Of Small Businesses.President Barack Obama’s plan to raise tax rates for the top 2 percent of U.S. households would mean higher taxes on 53 percent of business income reported on individual returns, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. The nonpartisan analysts prepared the data at the request of Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the panel’s top Republican, said the document was “irrefutable proof” that tax rates shouldn’t go up. “With our economy as weak as it is, it makes absolutely no sense to hit more and more small businesses with a tax hike,” he said in a statement. The analysis doesn’t include data on the size of the businesses owned by top earners or estimates of how they would respond to higher tax rates. If Congress doesn’t act, tax rates for income, capital gains, dividends and estates will increase in 2013. Obama wants to let existing tax cuts expire for married couples making more than $250,000 a year and individuals making more than $200,000. According to JCT, in 2013 940,000 households within the top 2 percent will report net positive business income with marginal tax rates that would be 36 percent or 39.6 percent under Obama’s plan, up from 33 percent and 35 percent now. That represents 3.5 percent of taxpayers who have business income and 53 percent of net positive business income, the analysis said. Bloomberg

4. Small Biz: JOBS Act Spurs Innovation And Small Business Growth. Crowdfunding is booming. A report by Massolution, a research firm, forecasts that $2.8 billion will be raised worldwide this year, up from $1.5 billion in 2011 and only $530m in 2009…America’s recent Jumpstart Our Business Start-ups (JOBS) Act is raising hopes that crowdfunding will also transform the way in which firms raise capital. Duncan Niederauer, the boss of NYSE Euronext, claims that, properly done, it “will become the future of how most small businesses are going to be financed”…A small Main Street business trying to borrow $50,000-100,000 “cannot get that money from any bank in this country right now,” says Mr Niederauer. CircleUp, a new firm that raises equity fotr small business from a restricted crowd of sophisticated “accredited” investors (rather than the general public), sees a huge funding gap for firms with revenues of under $10m in industries such as consumer products. Since its launch in April, CircleUp has already beaten its targets for this year…Robert Litan of the Kauffman Foundation, a think-tank, believes experts will be able to add “proof of concept” to social proof. Perhaps leading venture-capital firms will return to financing baby start-ups, which they long ago abandoned. They would boost crowdfunding if, say, they lent their reputations to young firms and promised to invest later if they met certain targets. The Economist

5. Energy Focus: Chairman Hastings: Obama's National Ocean Policy Threatens Jobs And Economic Activities Onshore And Off. President Obama is using the ocean as his latest regulatory weapon to impose new bureaucratic restrictions on nearly every sector of our economy. While marketed as a common sense plan for the development and protection of our oceans, it is instead being used to create a massive new bureaucracy that would harm our economy. Established through Executive Order, Mr. Obama with a simple stroke of a pen took unilateral action to impose a massive top-down federal bureaucracy with broad regulatory control over our oceans, Great Lakes, rivers, tributaries and watersheds. The Executive Order creates a tangled web of regulatory layers that includes: 10 National Policies; a 27-member National Ocean Council; an 18-member Governance Coordinating Committee; and 9 Regional Planning Bodies. This has led to an additional: 9 National Priority Objectives; 9 Strategic Action Plans; 7 National Goals for Coastal Marine Spatial Planning; and 12 Guiding Principles for Coastal Marine Spatial Planning. Imposing mandatory ocean zoning could place huge portions of our oceans and coasts off-limits, seriously curtailing recreational activities, commercial fishing, and all types of energy development – including renewable energy such as offshore wind farms. Fox News

6. Health Care: Republicans Will Repeal Health Care Law, Take Step-By-Step Approach To Common Sense Reforms. White House officials say they are confident the Supreme Court will uphold the health-care law, but they also are preparing for a range of outcomes, including pressing ahead with what remains of the law if the court strikes down only part of it. Republicans, meanwhile, are preparing a two-step approach if the court doesn't void the entire law: A quick vote in the House to repeal any parts of it that remain, which would be unlikely to get approval in the Democrat-controlled Senate, and then a push for a series of small changes to health-care policy…House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) said Tuesday that after a vote to overturn any parts of the health-care law that remain, the House would "move in a step-by-step approach to common-sense reforms that will lower the cost of health insurance and ensure that the American people can go to the doctor of their choice." But GOP leaders haven't settled on what specific proposals they would put forth. Wall Street Journal

7. Keeping Tabs: High Gas Prices Hurting Self-Employed Business Owners. Eight out of 10 self-employed Americans say their businesses have been hurt by volatile gas and energy prices, according to a new survey by the National Association for the Self Employed… More than half (55.3%) of the self-employed (fewer than 10 employees) said they have reduced their business travel and more than a third (36.9%) have raised prices because of the cost of energy and fuel, the survey found…Almost half (42%) of those surveyed said they are spending more than $250 a month on gasoline (the highest price category listed on the survey). Nearly 70% said they had changed their driving behavior because of fuel costs. The Orange County Register

Off The Beaten Path:

Team Rosters For Tonight’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game

Mike Tyson Heads To Broadway For One-Man Show

Houston Police Look For Man Who Spray-Painted A Picasso


GOP Health Care Reforms