By Jeb Hensarling || Three years ago this week, President Obama celebrated his inauguration. As he prepares for his State of the Union address, it’s worth reviewing the previous messages he’s delivered to a nation eager to create jobs. In 2009, we were told that if we passed his ‘stimulus’ plan, the economy would improve. In 2010, we were told that if we passed his government takeover of health care, the economy would improve. Last year, we were told that his budget would help us ‘win the future.’
Those were the promises, here are the facts.
Since President Obama took office, 1.9 million fewer Americans have jobs. Gas prices have doubled. More Americans are on food stamps than ever before. The new health care law is making it harder for small businesses to hire and provide health insurance. Our national debt now exceeds the size of our entire economy. And as the president takes to the podium to address the nation, we will be marking 1,000 days since the Democrat-controlled Senate has even bothered to pass a budget.
Regardless of the president’s good intentions, his policies have failed the American people. His policies haven’t just failed to make the economy better — they have actually made it worse.
Just this week, the president wasted a golden opportunity to help create at least 20,000 new American jobs when he rejected a popular energy project. The Keystone pipeline extension would run from Canada to Texas, right through my congressional district. As you may know, this project has undergone extensive environmental reviews, and is backed by a diverse coalition, from unions and small businesses to lawmakers in both parties.
In fact, the president’s own jobs council recently stated that projects like this one can create hundreds of thousands of jobs. Despite all of this, the president rejected the project and buried 20,000 shovel-ready jobs.
We can’t afford to go on like this, and we don’t have to.
Republicans will continue fighting to bring these Keystone jobs to the United States. And we will also continue to listen to the American people and present better solutions that support small business job creation. By implementing Republicans’ Plan for America’s Job Creators, the House has sent nearly 30 bipartisan jobs bills to the Democrat-controlled Senate.
One of those bills includes the full-year extension of the payroll tax credit that the president asked us to pass. Unfortunately, our jobs bills remain stuck in the Democrat Senate, and President Obama hasn’t urged the Democrat majority leader, Senator Harry Reid, to act.
This has to change. Our jobs bills are focused on common-sense priorities like boosting competitiveness for manufacturers, reducing red tape for small businesses, and producing more American energy. These are also ideas supported by the president’s jobs council.
The State of the Union is a time for truth-telling, and the sad truth is that the president’s policies are making our economy worse. It’s a new year, it’s a time for new, bipartisan solutions to our jobs crisis. We remain hopeful the president will change course and work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to help get people back to work.
You can learn more about the Republican jobs plan, and watch the Republican response to the State of the Union, at GOP.gov/SOTU/.
Jeb Hensarling represents the fifth district of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives. Visit his official webpage by clicking here.