February marks the two-year anniversary of President Obama’s signing of the failed stimulus package. Even its most ardent supporters have to admit that the stimulus bill failed to create net job growth and instead created more debt, placing a tremendous burden on our children and grandchildren.
The stimulus failed to prevent the unemployment rate from surpassing 8 percent, as the administration promised it would do if we passed it. The unemployment rate in January 2011 remained stuck at 9 percent or higher for the 21st consecutive month — the longest period the unemployment rate has been that high since the Great Depression.
Economists say that skyrocketing debt and reckless spending in the form of legislation such as the stimulus bill create an uncertain environment that stifles job growth. That is why Republicans are working hard to reform Congress and create a better environment for job growth. Early Saturday morning, the House passed H.R. 1, a historic $100 billion spending cut and the first continuing resolution in history to be debated under an open process where lawmakers from both parties could offer and debate amendments. Both the spending cut and the process used to pass it are key parts of fulfilling the Pledge to America.
Now, as part of our focus on job growth, committees in the House are working to remove unnecessary regulations, and we’re aggressively looking at new ways to cut spending. This includes entitlement reform. The president failed to make any proposals that deal with two-thirds of our spending in his proposed budget, but I am working with House Leadership to come up with common-sense solutions that will put our country on the path to prosperity.
In addition, as the Republican Study Committee’s Health Care Working Group chair, I wrote a letter to the president asking him to stop implementing Obamacare in the wake of Judge Vinson’s ruling that the entire act is unconstitutional.
Cutting spending, reforming entitlements and removing unconstitutional regulations are essential to promoting job growth. Tough decisions need to be made in order to get us there, but I am willing to make those tough decisions in order to keep our nation strong and prosperous.
Rep. Phil Roe represents Tennessee’s First Congressional District.