Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

REP. PETE OLSON: JOBS bill would put America back to work

May 1, 2014

Houston Community News

REP. PETE OLSON: JOBS bill would put America back to work

By Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas)


In 2008, President Obama’s major campaign slogan focused on the word “change.” In 2012, the word was “forward.” The President has projected an image of one above politics as usual, with big ideas that will transform America. Yet, under his watch, all we've gotten is a big-government agenda and a stagnant economy.

According to the Carsey Institute, since 2007, long-term unemployment has more than doubled, and three-fourths of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Instead of reducing regulations that prevent businesses from expanding and hiring, the president amplified government overreach. In 2013, President Obama issued more pages of regulations in the Federal Register than any other president in history.

These excessive regulations stifle job creation and hurt small businesses here in Texas. Our businesses struggle to comply with time-consuming, costly and unnecessary hoops they must jump through in order to run their operations. Many of these rules target the one bright spot in our economy — our energy industry. While the president delays approval of important energy projects that will help job growth, he tells us his policies will help our economy and create jobs. We know better.

America does need a change — in the right direction. House Republicans have a plan to put us on the right path toward economic revival. Our efforts will create American jobs as we capitalize on our rich domestic energy resources, limit the extensive power of unions on employers and rein in burdensome rules that roadblock economic growth. Our proposals, packaged together in the Jumpstarting Opportunities with Bold Solutions (JOBS) Act, all have the same goal — employ Americans.

To support and enhance America’s energy boom, our bill loosens the Obama stranglehold on our energy sector. It opens production on federal lands and expands onshore and offshore leasing. It approves the Keystone XL pipeline, a long delayed project that would bring needed energy from our ally Canada and create thousands of direct and indirect jobs here at home. It also streamlines the approval process for exporting liquefied natural gas, which is a critical step to increase our energy security and support our allies — like Ukraine — who need our resources to lessen their energy dependence on hostile nations.

This bill also reforms our nation’s labor laws that tie the hands of employers at the mercy of union control. It allows employers to award bonuses and pay raises to deserving workers without requiring permission from union bosses. It also puts the taxpayer first by prohibiting federal employees from using official taxpayer-paid time for union activity.

To help small businesses, it eliminates unnecessary regulations on community banks and credit unions and frees them to lend to start-ups and mom and pop companies. This opens opportunities for capital investment into these small business job creators that are the backbone of our economy.

Sadly, there is no legal requirement for federal agencies to assess or report the economic impact of regulations. Some of these rules cost our economy billions of dollars without proven economic benefit. The JOBS Act requires all federal agencies to conduct an objective cost-benefit analysis of proposed regulations and review the economic impact of existing rules. It demands congressional approval for rules costing $50 million or more annually. This provides transparency so the taxpayers can see the impact of these regulations on jobs and our economy.

Americans are tired of waiting on this Administration to green light job growth. We are tired of waiting for President Obama to support our nation’s energy renaissance, help small businesses grow and eliminate economy-crushing red tape. It's time to put America back to work. That's why we need to pass the JOBS Act as soon as possible.

Rep. Pete Olson, a Republican, represents Texas District 22 in the U.S. House of Representatives. He lives in Sugar Land.