By Senator John Thune
January 20, 2012, marks the third anniversary of President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Over the past three years, Americans have experienced a difficult economic situation, which has only been made worse by the policies of the president and his administration.
The numbers paint a clear picture of the economic reality that exists for many individuals, families, and businesses across the country. Since January 20, 2009, 1.1 million more Americans are unemployed, an increase of nine percent. Gas prices have increased by 83 percent, the federal debt is up by 43 percent, health insurance costs are up by 23 percent, the number of individuals receiving food stamps is up by 45 percent, home values are down by 13 percent, and 6.4 million more Americans are now in poverty.
Despite the failed policies of over regulation, increased taxation, and excess spending over the past few years, many of us have put forward solutions to turn the economy around and restore our country’s economic standing in the world. For example, there are currently nearly 30 jobs bills that have passed the House of Representatives, many with strong bipartisan support, that are now stalled in the Senate by Majority Leader Harry Reid. These bills would make common sense reforms that would help increase domestic energy production, decrease government red tape and overreaching regulations on our job creators, and provide for middle class tax relief.
I have introduced the Senate version of one of these House-passed jobs bills, the Access to Capital for Job Creators Act, which would remove unnecessary government barriers that are preventing small businesses from accessing much-needed capital to make investments in their businesses and add new workers. In early December, I wrote a letter to the Senate Banking Committee requesting that my bill be considered in their next meeting. I hope that my bipartisan bill, which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 413-11, and has been recommended by a Security and Exchange Commission advisory committee, will receive consideration in the Senate in the coming weeks.
We know the policies of the past three years have failed to produce the results that were promised to the American people. I believe there is a better way and hope that the Congressional Democrats will join us in passing the nearly 30 job-creating bills currently stalled in the Senate. Let’s restore America’s economic standing in the world and work to create jobs and get our economy running again.