The ‘Forgotten 15′ GOP Jobs Bills

Tait Trussell is a national award-winning writer, former vice-president of the American Enterprise Institute and former Washington correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.


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No matter how loud or how often Obama says: “We can’t wait for Congress to act,” it’s really an act on his part in his melodrama for reelection. He continues to demand his stale $475 billion “jobs” plan.

The fact is: Democrats are blocking real jobs-producing bills that Republicans have passed. They have urged Senate Democrats and President Obama to support the House-passed jobs bills they call the “forgotten 15,” which GOP lawmakers say would mightily boost job growth.

Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid is blocking bipartisan jobs legislation for his usual bumbledom partisan reasons.

Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-IL) in a Republican Saturday radio address said there’s been some bipartisan progress to boost hiring. He praised the bipartisan House passage of legislation to kill the requirement that governments at all levels withhold 3 percent of payments to government contractors, a bill with White House support. But he added that many jobs bills the House has passed are stuck in the Democratic-controlled Senate, which he referred to as the “forgotten 15.”

Schilling portrayed Obama and Democrats as out of touch with the needs of small business as he touted the GOP agenda and the 15 bills in particular. The bills were written after talking with manufacturers, farmers, and small businesspeople across the country. But the Senate won’t let these bills come to a vote. The president hasn’t called for action because he’s too busy painting a profoundly false picture of a stalling GOP.

House Republican leaders want Americans to know they aren’t to blame for the congressional stalemate. Speaker John A. Boehner produced a card listing the “forgotten 15” jobs bills the House has passed but are stuck in the partisan mud of the Senate. He gave the card to members, telling them to hold it up at events at home, and flash the card during interviews to remind Americans that Republicans are doing everything they can to address employment.

The forgotten 15 are as follows:

The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act—reduces overlapping and unnecessary regulations on pesticides, thereby reducing costs to both farmers and small business owners. It was described as a government obstacle to job creation. The House passed it 292-130 on March 31, 2011.

The Energy Tax Prevention Act—prohibits the federal government from regulating greenhouse gas emissions, preventing a needless increase in energy prices for American households and businesses and fewer jobs. The House passed it 255-172 on April 7, 2011.

A Resolution of Disapproval Regarding FCC’s Regulation (H.J. Resolution 37) prevents the federal government from regulating the Internet and broadband providers. The House passed it 240-179 on April 8, 2011.

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  • Herman Caintonette

    I wouldn't buy off on a single one of them. Pollution is a subsidy to polluters, as we are the ones who have to pick up the tab. Deep Horizon should have educated you as to why we should move cautiously with respect to deep-water drilling. Trashing our air and water does not create a singe job — if you ignore the medical costs. Eliminating regulations ensures a repeat of the behavior regulations are intended to stop. Not a single jobs-related provision in the lot.

    • pagegl

      Deep Horizon was a problem caused by a company that has had a history of attempting to skirt environmental regulations. Friends and acquaintances in the industry said BP's operation was an oil spill waiting to happen. The problem also has been exacerbated by forcing the oil companies to abandon rigs in shallower water. It's lots easier to fix a blow out if it's only a few hundred feet under water.

      Further, the EPA has, in the past few years, tightened regulations to the point that we are probably operating in an area well beyond diminshing returns. The regulations are now costing more than is returned in cleaner air and water. But, that's what bureaucracies do to justify their existence.

      • Herman Caintonette

        Take the new ozone standards. We have more data, and can conclude that it is more hazardous to our health than it once was. We have a choice: we can do nothing and pass on the costs to those who have to breathe, or we can spend the money to reduce ozone emissions. The Clean Air Act requires the latter, and the bureaucrats are only doing what the law demands. And the problem is?

        • pagegl

          Near as I can tell, the new data suggests levels of 66% of the proposed standard could cause problems to susceptible populations. We also know that there is no threshold level at which ozone can be considered harmless. So, do we set standards that are too expensive to implement with current technology or set standards that are realistic and continue to develop technology that may help us improve air quality. Unfortunately, demanding some standard to be met does not mean that it can be.

          Do we know of all sources of ozone? Which can we regulate and which can we not? Is it possible that we could somehow magically get all controllable sources to emit zero ozone and still have what the EPA considers dangerous levels?

          Consider that we have been working on battery technology for close to forty years and electric cars are still not a practical replacement for IC cars. Same thing with solar cell technology. Perhaps some day we will break out of whatever is causing limits in those technologies but we can safely say it isn't happening over night and most likely will not happen this year or next.

    • Howard

      It is incredible how Republican congressmen and Tait Trussell have such poor judgement in formulating and presenting their point of view. If they were presenting this to the typical either low IQ or totally brainwashed teabagger, they might be lauded for this "insight article with insightful proposals" but progressives also read this stuff and not only find it to be demeaning to the point of being humorous but also points out why the same judgement is responsible for the sixteen percent approval rating of the house.

  • Herman Caintonette

    I would add that we need to invest in infrastructure if we are to compete in this global economy. Just fixing what needs to be fixed will cost $2.2 trillion, according to a report from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

  • StephenD

    I have some misgivings about the deep water drilling myself but would however support drilling on dry land wherever it can take place. It seems one of the reasons these companies are looking at deep water drilling is because of the rules that govern drilling on land. I don't know why it is so difficult to figure out that if we are energy independent we are once again on top of the food chain in all other areas as Americans. If, with the technology available today, they can't minimize the impact of drilling on land to a safe level, we're all in trouble. Besides, these economic times calls for some drastic measures and that doesn't include installing new traffic lights or paying Teachers Unions Health Benefits for life.

    • Herman Caintonette

      We should be drilling in ANWR, but the Keystone XL pipeline should not be built. Oil is a fungible commodity, and all we would be doing is subsidizing Canada's exports. No benefits here, and lots of environmental issues.

      • saleboter

        Um China has offered to build a pipeline to the west coast of Canada

        • Herman Caintonette

          Let them. Ever been in that part of the Rockies? It will take 15-20 years, which is just about right.

  • James

    If the GOP actually cared about crating jobs, they would helped pass the American Jobs Act, which would have created 1-2 millions jobs as opposed to these 5-10,000 job increments these "job creation" bills which are really nothing more than attempts to deregulate certain industries. Of course, the AJA would have been paid for through taxing millionairs instead of taxing the environment, so it had no chance to get through the GOP.
    http://www.obamaftw.com/blog/economics/obama-jobs

  • Charles

    This is perfect example of how the media misleads people. If you read any of the 27 proposed job bills past the header presented here, you will find, as did 34 economist around the country, that these bills do not create jobs, but are more targeted at reducing regulations, and tax loop holes for corporations. In this day and age of information it's to easy to find the truth, but most want to believe what they hear and read, without using common sense and check things out for themselves.

  • Jmatsby

    So the GOP jobs plan is basically deregulate, drill baby drill, deregulate, and promote anti-union states, oh and did I mention deregulate? I’d like to see som CBO numbers on how many jobs this actually creates, how it actually stimulates the economy and creates demand.

  • Herman Caintonette

    We should get rid of the bad ones, if they really are producing no benefit. But gutting the EPA is insanity, and won't create a single job.

  • Herman Caintonette

    Which is why we should bite the bullet and go green. Solar panels are down to a dollar per watt, http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/so… , which makes them cost-competitive with even our cheapest forms of carbon-based energy. Switchgrass and wood chips can be converted into gasoline for a $2/gal. equivalent cost, and the process produces hydrogen (which means that it would even be cheaper). http://www.sundropfuels.com/presskit/SUNDROP-PRES… . Why we are even bothering with high-cost fuels like that harvested from the Athabasca tar sands is not clear to me.

  • James

    You haven't heard much because the ozone issue was solved through reduction in use of CFCs. Similar to the climate change issue, the problem isn't that human-cause particulates 'outnumber' those spewed by natural effects, it's that they lead to an excess that isn't being reabsorbed in the same cycle.
    http://www.climateliars.com/