Earlier this week, the President announced that he will pivot, yet again, to focus on jobs and the economy. House Republicans have been working all year to enact the Plan for Economic Growth & Jobs and we welcome the President back to the discussion.
This morning, House Republican Leaders released a memo highlighting the three steps President Obama could take immediately to improve the economy and strengthen the middle class.
3 Ways to Immediately Grow Jobs and Strengthen the Middle Class:
1. Approve the Keystone Pipeline: The Keystone XL Pipeline has been awaiting approval for over 1,750 days now. It has already undergone extensive scientific review and the failure of the Administration to authorize the pipeline is costing us 20,000 direct and 100,000 indirect jobs.
2. Urge the Democratic controlled Senate to join the House and Pass a Job Training Bill: It has been more than three months since the House of Representatives passed the SKILLS Act to reform and update our nation’s jobs training programs. The House bill was supported by Governors, employers and community colleges. The Democratic-controlled Senate has yet to pass a bill and as a result thousands of individuals in need of training are being left behind by our broken system. (It is worth noting that the President is returning to Knox College to begin his new speaking tour; the very place where in 2005 he championed reform of our job training programs.)
3. Support the Bipartisan Effort to Expand Offshore Domestic Energy Production: There is bipartisan support in Congress for expanding environmentally-responsible offshore energy development. A bill recently passed by the House would do just that, opening areas off Virginia, South Carolina, and Southern California. Over the long-term, offshore drilling has the potential to create 1.2 million jobs and $70 billion in wages. Furthermore, if gas prices just returned to what they were the day President Obama took office, that would equate to an increase in take home pay of $200 per month for the average middle class family.
The President might also consider calling Mary Jo White, his appointee who chairs the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and ask her to complete implementation of the 2012 JOBS Act. The President and Republicans alike championed the reforms in the JOBS Act to increase funding for start-ups and small businesses. Yet, the SEC has missed statutory deadlines and multiple rules, which are necessary to fully implement the JOBS Act, are still awaiting SEC action.
Of course these positive steps only help counter the negative impact on the economy and the middle class resulting from the implementation of the president's health care law. We have already witnessed the move towards part-time employment as a result of the health care law. Thankfully, the President acknowledged this problem by attempting to delay the employer mandate, which the House has now authorized him to do, and we urge the Senate to follow suit. House Republicans continue to call on the President to work with us to take action to address the many other negative economic consequences of this law, including delaying the individual mandate, which will force many Americans to buy insurance – often at a higher price than before the law – or pay a tax.