September 23, 2014
Throughout the 113th Congress, the House of Representatives has maintained a laser focus on the policies that will create the conditions needed for more robust job growth. With many communities in the Fifth District continuing to experience unacceptably high unemployment, it has been very frustrating to see jobs bills pass the House with significant bipartisan majorities only to be ignored by the Senate.
Nevertheless, the House once again led the way this week by adopting new job-creating legislation as well as sending a package of our best, previously-passed jobs legislation to the Senate to remind them of their obligation to address these vital issues. Both of these legislative packages included bipartisan bills that I authored to boost economic growth.
On Tuesday, we passed the Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act, which combines the text of 11 bills all of which aim to reduce the bureaucratic red tape hindering job growth. The Small Company Disclosure Simplification Act, a bipartisan bill I introduced with Representative Terri Sewell (D-Alabama) in March 2014 to remove duplicative reporting regulations for small public companies and require the SEC to perform a cost benefit analysis on the rule's impact on these companies, was incorporated into this legislation.
Then on Thursday, the House passed the Jobs for America Act, which combines the text of 15 bipartisan bills, all of which had already passed the House, to improve conditions necessary for economic growth. This legislation includes H.R. 1105, the Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act, a bill I introduced to reduce unnecessary regulations that inhibit investments of private capital into small businesses, allowing them to expand and create the jobs we so desperately need. This bill passed with a strong bipartisan majority back in December, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refuses to even allow a debate on the measure.
With the passage both of these bills, we are making it easy as possible for the Senate to join us in kick-starting the economy and getting Americans across the country back to work. I thank my colleagues in the House for their support of these commonsense jobs bills, and I urge our colleagues in the Senate to consider them and the other dozens of other jobs bills that remain stuck there.
Update on ISIL
This week, the House also voted on an amendment to a spending measure that would authorize training and arming Syrian rebels in hopes of their cooperation to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). I believe that ISIL is a direct threat to the United States and our national security, and I fully support the President's ultimate objective of dismantling and destroying ISIL.
I have grave concerns about the President's proposal to train and arm Syrian rebels to fight for our American interests, but ultimately, I voted against this amendment because the President has not requested a broader Authorization for Use of Military Force from Congress before he commences a wider and sustained engagement against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. The Constitution requires the President to obtain authorization from Congress to wage war. The American people and their representatives in Congress must be afforded the opportunity to participate in an honest, open debate as to exactly what action will be necessary to achieve our shared objective and exactly what will be required of the American people and our brave men and women in uniform if we embark on this course.
Furthermore, issues of this magnitude should not be rolled into an unrelated 'must-pass' spending bill for the sake of expediency. It is my fervent hope that the President will immediately begin the process of seeking congressional authorization and present a solid plan of action to destroy ISIL that the American people and their representatives in Congress can rally behind.