Weekly Republican Address: Rep. Pat Meehan on Republicans' Plan for America's Job Creators


"Hello, I'm Pat Meehan, and I represent the hardworking people of Pennsylvania's Seventh Congressional District.

"The need for Washington to act on jobs is as urgent as ever. The nation's unemployment rate has now exceeded eight percent for three years running -- the longest stretch since the Great Depression. Struggling families and workers want to end the gridlock and get our economy moving. House Republicans have offered good ideas that will help create jobs, but to execute them, we need leadership from President Obama and help from his fellow Democrats who control the Senate.

"As part of Republicans' Plan for America's Job Creators, the House has passed nearly 30 bipartisan jobs bills that the Senate hasn't considered, proposals to help small businesses grow and create jobs. It was promising to see the president come out this week and endorse several of our ideas, but what would really be helpful is for him to urge the Senate to actually vote on them.

"One of our jobs bills would extend the payroll tax cut for a full year, as the president requested. The Republican-led House has passed this bill, but the Democratic-controlled Senate hasn't. A bipartisan conference committee is working to change that, but time is running short.

"Our Democratic colleagues in Washington have a responsibility to tell the nation what they're prepared to do to extend the payroll tax cut for a full year and give middle-class families and small businesses much-needed certainty.

"Another jobs bill in the works is an energy and infrastructure plan that will support the creation of more than one million private-sector jobs -- not by wasting your money on pork-barrel projects and so-called "stimulus" spending, but by removing government barriers that are getting in the way of American job growth. This marks a sea change from the way things were done in the past by both parties, who stuffed highway bills with earmarks, many of which only drained resources from urgent projects that have a direct connection to economic growth.

"In 2005, I'm sad to say, a Republican-led Congress passed a highway bill that contained more than 6,300 earmarks, including the "Bridge to Nowhere.' John Boehner was one of only eight members who voted against that bill. He's now our Speaker, and those days are over.

"Instead of more earmarks or new taxes, our bill will remove barriers to job growth by expanding American energy production -- which will help lower gas prices -- and using the revenue to repair and improve our roads and bridges. Repairing our roads and bridges isn't just a safety issue, it's an economic one. Pennsylvania has more structurally deficient bridges than any other state, and a half-million people in the Commonwealth are out of work. That's why our bill removes barriers to job growth and reforms the process by ending needless delays, empowering states and communities, and ensuring resources go to projects that have a direct connection to our economy.

"This is another good idea that will help put Americans back to work, and it, too, is built on common ground. The president supports improving infrastructure and recently echoed our party's call for an "all-of-the-above' energy strategy. To learn more about the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act and the Republican jobs plan, visit jobs.GOP.gov.

"Our economy faces serious challenges right now -- gridlock in Washington doesn't have to be one of them. The House is acting on good ideas, and with help from the President and Democrats in the Senate, we can get these things done. The people we represent sent us here to find solutions and move the country forward -- not further divide it.

"Thank you for listening, and God bless America."