In her weekly newsletter, Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler reiterates the GOP talking point that we have heard over and over again the last few months- we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Of course, that does not explain why people who are so pro-business don't try to do what every good business does- develop new revenue streams. Oh, well. Here's her newsletter:
The economy and unemployment took center stage again, this week, at the Capitol. House Republicans drew a line in the sand, making it clear that tax increases will not be a part of discussions regarding the debt limit. I have said over and over again that Washington does not have a revenue problem – it has a spending problem. We are simply spending too much money we don’t have and we must stop. House Speaker John Boehner said it best when he reiterated that job-crushing tax hikes are off the table in the debt limit talks.
The House took up the Jobs and Permitting Act to increase U.S. oil supply and deal with 28 straight months of national unemployment at or above eight percent and a failing “recovery” moving too slowly to create jobs for out-of-work Americans. This is part of a much larger plan to promote lower energy prices and higher job growth through increased production of American energy. The bill eliminates needless permitting delays off the coast of Alaska and elsewhere, opening access to energy and helping to create new jobs in the oil industry. It’s time to reduce prices at the pump by using the resources our country has been blessed with.
As this discussion was taking place in Congress, President Obama announced he is tapping into 30 million barrels of oil stored in the Strategic Oil Reserve. While his solution to high gas prices is to tap into the Strategic Reserve as he blocks the permitting of oil exploration, the House is moving forward with real solutions to allow more oil exploration and greater use of our own resources.
Observers of the economy got another cold jolt, this week, with the long-term budget analysis released by the Congressional Budget Office. That report warned our record-high debt will surpass our economy by year’s end. It also cautioned that if we remain on the path we’re on government spending will make up 33 percent of our economy by 2035 – compared to the 20 percent post-World War II average. This is terrible news for job creators and job seekers – not to mention future generations of Americans who will spend their lives paying off bills. It’s time to reverse course now!
We received a second jolt of bad news when the Labor Department informed us that initial claims for unemployment benefits increased by 9,000 in one week to 429,000. It is the second increase in three weeks and the 11th straight week that applications have been above 400,000. Let’s face it - no country can spend, tax, and borrow its way to prosperity and job creation. To create jobs and save our country from national bankruptcy we must stop spending money we don’t have.
The good news is we’ve got a plan. The 2012 budget passed by the House reins in runaway government spending, lowers job-crushing taxes, and shores-up Medicare so that it will avoid bankruptcy and will be available to future generations of Americans. It’s time for the Senate to join the House to change the trajectory and put America on a new course.
I introduced a bill, this week, to right a wrong that was brought to my attention at a recent town hall forum in Osceola. While military veterans guilty of capital crimes are prohibited from being buried in our national cemeteries, veterans convicted of sexual abuse of children are still entitled to these honors. I have introduced a bill to protect the sanctity of these final resting places by prohibiting sexual abusers from being allowed to rest among our military heroes in our country’s veterans and national cemeteries. The Hallowed Grounds Act will bar an individual who is classified as a Tier III sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act from a military burial. A Tier III sex offender is one whose offenses against a child might include the crimes of aggravated sexual abuse or sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact. This bill is receiving widespread support and will ensure victims are not further victimized and that our national cemeteries are not desecrated by these perpetrators.
As the week came to an end the House sent a clear message regarding military operations in Libya by voting, overwhelmingly, to rebuke the President for his refusal to seek authorization from Congress for those military actions. Congress has a constitutional role to play in decisions involving the deployment of American forces and must not surrender that role to any administration.