Hensarling: Lay Off the Supercommittee

by Andrew Stiles

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas), co-chair of the supercommittee on deficit reduction, was not thrilled by President Obama’s suggestion tonight that the committee “pay for” his $450 billion jobs package with additional savings on top of the $1.5 trillion target (over 10 years) set forth in the Budget Control Act. In a statement in response to the president’s speech, Hensarling argued that doing so would make the committee’s already-difficult task “nearly impossible.”

After the first month since 1945 with absolutely no change in employment, it’s clear we need jobs that earn, not jobs that cost.  American workers and job creators haven’t been waiting for the right speech; they’re waiting for right policies to address the triple threat of taxation, regulation, and spending that’s crushing job creation.

By asking the Joint Select Committee to increase the $1.5 trillion target to cover the full cost of his plan, the president is essentially tasking a committee designed to reduce the deficit to pay for yet another round of stimulus. Deficit reduction is part of job creation. This proposal would make the already-arduous challenge of finding bipartisan agreement on deficit reduction nearly impossible, removing our options for deficit reduction for a plan that won’t reduce the deficit by one penny. It’s not the role of this committee to spend more money we don’t have on jobs we don’t get. 

House Republicans have introduced a Plan For America’s Job Creators and we’ve passed more than a dozen job-creating bills this year, each designed to empower employers and workers by getting government out of the way. It is inexcusable that Democrats in the Senate have blocked action on almost every one of these measures. House Republicans can’t restore confidence in the economy by ourselves – it’s time for the president and his party to put results before politics. Working together, Washington can seize this opportunity to bring jobs, hope and opportunity back to the American people.

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