U.S. House Remains Focused on Creating a Healthy Economy
YORK, PA – For the first seven months of the 113th Congress, House Republicans have laid the groundwork for a stronger economy and increased opportunities for all Americans. Legislation passed by the House includes some simple things most of us can agree on and some tough choices. These solutions will help foster an environment for a healthy economy and expanded opportunity for everyone – without expanding government.
“More than twelve million Americans are still out of work and hurting,” said U.S. Representative Scott Perry (PA-4). “The U.S. House remains focused on what we can do right now, and in the long-term, to make a difference in people’s lives. Washington continues to make life difficult for hardworking taxpayers with out-of-control spending, new regulations and an ineffective energy plan. We can do better than this.”
Here are some examples of actions the House has taken to achieve these goals. Most of these bills still await action in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
- The SKILLS Act (passed March 15, 2013) – While more than 12 million Americans remain unemployed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports millions of jobs remain unfilled. One reason for this startling fact is a broken workforce development system. The SKILLS Act seeks to consolidate, reform and modernize federal workforce training programs and help millions of unemployed Americans get back to work.
- Hydropower Development, H.R. 267 and 678 (passed February 12 and April 10, 2013) – These bills lift barriers to the development of hydropower in the U.S. Hydropower is the largest source of clean, renewable energy in the U.S., creating thousands of jobs (including many in the 4th District) and providing power to millions of Americans at low cost. Of the approximately 80,000 dams in the U.S., approximately three percent currently generate hydropower. This represents a tremendous opportunity for our nation’s energy needs.
- The Northern Route Approval Act (passed May 22, 2013) – Approves construction of the Keystone Pipeline, which the Department of State says could create an estimated 20,000 direct new jobs and deliver approximately 83,000 barrels of oil a day, substantially reducing our reliance on energy from unstable sources. The Keystone Pipeline has attracted bipartisan support, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO.
- The Smarter Solutions for Students Act (passed May 23, 2013) – For years, politicians have been putting themselves in charge of setting student loan interest rates, which creates uncertainty for students and needlessly politicizes a critically important issue. This bill applies a market-based interest rate to federal student loans, protecting students from high interest-rates and making their loans more affordable as they enter the workforce. The House and Senate have agreed to a slightly amended version of this legislation, which is expected to be signed into law by President Obama.
In addition to making the American economy more competitive, innovative, and productive, we must force Washington to deal with its nearly $17 trillion debt. In March, the House adopted its 2014 budget, a realistic budget that holds Washington accountable and protects taxpayers. Likewise, Congressman Perry introduced legislation that proposes a responsible balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. It’s time for Washington to live by the same rules as every American family. In recent town meetings, constituents have made it clear to me that Washington should stop spending money it doesn’t have.
Excessive regulations and abuse of power from an out-of-control Washington also continue to make life difficult for hardworking taxpayers. Regulations cost the average American family more than $15,000 each year. House Republicans this week adopted two bills to help remove obstacles to growth and provide responsible oversight of government operations. First, H.R. 367, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, would require regulations with the greatest cost to our economy to be approved by both chambers of Congress and signed by the President before taking effect on hard-working American families and businesses. Last year, 57 regulations were implemented with an annual economic cost of more than $100 million each. Likewise, the House passed H.R. 1582, the Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013, which requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to submit a report to Congress detailing the estimated costs and job impacts of any proposed energy-related rules that would cost more than $1 billion to implement.
Residents of the 4th District are welcome to contact Congressman Perry and his staff at any of his offices or via Perry.House.Gov, where they can sign up for e-mail updates and for his new Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.