Have you heard about “The Forgotten 15“? Here’s a news article by the Washington Times that explains it.
Last week, the House passed a strongly bipartisan bill which would prevent a job-killing 3 percent withholding tax on all government contractors from going into effect. Even though the White House supports the measure, Mr. Reid, a Nevada Democrat, has chosen instead to bring another “small bite” from the president’s failed American Jobs Act to the floor. He wants to hike taxes on business owners so he can blow $60 billion in more stimulus for bike paths, choo-choo trains and bus stops.
Mr. Reid can’t even round up all the Democrats behind his partisan plan, but he continues to drag his feet on items that could pass because the last thing he wants to do is adopt legislation that gives the GOP the chance to take some credit with the public.
The Senate has not been this inactive in at least a quarter-century. As of Tuesday, the Senate had held 194 votes for the year, 54 fewer than at this time last year.
The intransigence has real-world implications. In March, the House passed a strongly bipartisan bill which would have stopped a court order from imposing duplicate and expensive regulations on farmers and ranchers. The Senate never brought the bill up for a vote, and on Monday a key deadline passed, allowing new regulations on pesticide applications to go into effect. That’s bad for jobs.
House Republican leaders want the public to know that they aren’t to blame for the stalemate on Capitol Hill. Speaker John A. Boehner produced a card listing the “forgotten 15” jobs bills that have passed the House but not the Senate. The Ohio Republican gave the card to members, telling them to carry it with them, hold it up at events at home, and flash it during interviews to remind Americans that Republicans are doing everything they can to address the employment situation.
The Democratic strategy is to set up Republicans as a foil for their 2012 re-election bids. Even though the congressional approval rating is down in the single-digits, Mr. Reid wants to draw a distinction between his party and the GOP by only bringing up bills that Republicans will oppose so his caucus can send out accusatory press releases.
The messaging is carefully crafted to fit with Mr. Obama’s latest campaign trail slogans about how “we can’t wait” for Congress to act. He showed his true motives on Tuesday when the president invited congressional Democrats to the White House to ostensibly talk about the jobs agenda. He has no plans to invite Republicans over to chat.
You can print a PDF of the The Forgotten 15 card right here.
Remember, Democrats are great at spending money – not so good at creating jobs.
Back in 2007, when the Republicans controlled the House and Senate, the unemployment rate was near 4%. FOUR PERCENT. And we had a deficit of $160 billion – NOT 1.6 TRILLION.
Let’s take a closer look at the Forgotten 15 from an article on John Boehner’s web site.
Campaigning for another failed stimulus and more job destroying taxes, President Obama has repeatedly—and falsely—asserted that “Congress isn’t willing to move” legislation to facilitate job growth. While the president plays politics, House Republicans have been working and approving legislation to promote economic growth and job creation. The House has approved more than 15 bills that, if enacted, would immediately help to grow the economy without more failed stimulus spending. These bills are currently stalled in the Democrat-controlled Senate and the president has not encouraged the Senate to act.
Here is a sample:
4) H.R. 1230—Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act: H.R. 1230 would require the Department of the Interior (DOI) to auction offshore oil and gas leases in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico, as well as in an area off the coast of Virginia. The bill would help to reduce energy prices and promote job creation by expediting offshore oil and natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and the Virginia coast.
6) H.R. 1231—Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act: H.R. 1231 would require that each five-year offshore oil and gas leasing program offer leasing in the areas with the most prospective oil and gas resources, and would establish a domestic oil and natural gas production goal. The bill would essentially lift the President’s ban on new offshore drilling by requiring the Administration to move forward on American energy production in areas estimated to contain the most oil and natural gas resources.
7) H.R. 2021—The Jobs and Energy Permitting Act of 2011: H.R. 2021 would eliminate needless permitting delays that have stalled important energy production opportunities off the coast of Alaska. The bill would also eliminate the permitting back-and-forth that occurs between the EPA and its Environmental Appeals Board. Rather than having exploration air permits repeatedly approved and rescinded by the agency and its review board, the EPA will be required to take final action – granting or denying a permit—within six months.
10) H.R. 1938— North American-Made Energy Security Act: H.R. 1938 would direct the President, acting through the Secretary of Energy, to coordinate with all federal agencies responsible for an aspect of the President’s National Interest Determination and Presidential Permit decision regarding construction and operation of Keystone XL, to ensure that all necessary actions are taken on an expedited schedule. The bill would promote job creation and energy security by ending the needless delay of the construction and operation of the Keystone XL pipeline.
11) H.R. 2587—Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act: H.R. 2587 would prohibit the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) from ordering any employer to close, relocate, or transfer employment under any circumstance.
16) H.R. 2433—Veterans Opportunity to Work Act: H.R. 2433 would create or modify programs that provide employment and training services to veterans and service members separating from active duty. The bill would also make changes to programs that offer home loan guarantees, ambulance services, and pension payments to qualifying individuals. Among other things, the bill would provide up to 12 months of Veterans Retraining Assistance to no more than 100,000 unemployed veterans that enter education or training programs at community colleges or technical schools to prepare them for employment in an occupational field that is determined by Department of Labor to have significant employment opportunities.
17) H.R. 674—To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the imposition of 3 percent withholding on certain payments made to vendors by government entities: H.R. 674 would permanently repeal the imposition of 3 percent withholding on certain payments made to vendors by government entities. Currently, the imposition of the 3 percent withholding is set to take effect on January 1, 2013. If the 3 percent withholding tax were implemented as scheduled, government entities would be required to withhold 3 percent of payments to persons providing property or services to the government. For example, on an invoice for $20,000 the government would pay the business $19,400 and withhold $600 as a preemptive tax. These added costs would almost certainly translate into fewer private-sector jobs and higher costs for the government and taxpayers.
They are actually up to 17 jobs bills now.
And finally, I have to post this funny John Boehner clip:
We need more of that Mr. Boehner. I think that was a good opportunity to say “freaking” as well. Because he should be pissed off with this Solyndra-bailout President.