Bearing Drift: Washington works today: energy, taxes, job creation, and a fed audit all on the docket – and Virginia’s right in the middle of it
Jul 25, 2012 -
By JR Hoeft
Congress chooses to audit fed, promote small business, and, in a bipartisan way, ask to drill for more energy today – and Virginia was right in the thick of it. Not to mention Eric Cantor basically told the Senate to go jump in a lake with his line in the sand on taxes.
Just in the way of a news brief and no exceptional commentary, here’s what happened today from the direct sources.
First, from Majority Leader Cantor on today’s vote in the Senate to raise income taxes:
“Our nation’s small businesses desperately need the economy to bounce back. Raising taxes will make any hope of recovery even dimmer than it is today. While the President and Senate Democrats push for a massive tax hike on small businesses, the House will vote to stop the tax hike next week. We know small businessmen and women do build their businesses and we are acting to give them more certainty and opportunity to grow again.”
Second, Scott Rigell on auditing the Fed (House Resolution 459 which requires a full audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Reserve banks by the Comptroller General of the United States before the end of 2012):
“We must hold every aspect of government accountable for the way it spends our tax dollars,” said Rigell, who cosponsored the legislation. “Like so many Americans, I find it deeply troubling that the Federal Reserve has not been audited since its inception in 1913. It is time for that to change.”
Third, Robert Hurt on cutting red tape in DC and promoting small business:
“Our nation has faced over 8% unemployment for more than three years. We are being crushed under a rapidly accumulating $16 trillion debt. And both of these things have everything to do with policies set forth in Washington that grow the federal government and strangle our Main Street businesses.
“Where others will not lead the House will. That is why we remain focused on adopting legislation like the bill we consider today – legislation that will remove the federal government as a barrier to job creation. This package of bills will lead us to responsible regulations and ensure that the economic impacts of federal regulations are accounted for. And most important, it will give our small business owners across Central and Southside Virginia the ability to hire and expand their businesses at a time when many are closing their doors.
Finally, bipartisan legislation to move forward on exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas (H.R. 6082) brought forth statement from a wide variety of leaders, including:
“With the passage of this legislation, the House voted to put our country on a path toward energy independence and responsible use of our natural resources, especially here in Virginia,” Wittman said. “Our economy is still struggling, with both unemployment rates and gas prices remaining high. And yet this Administration would still prefer to keep closed many areas that contain sources of American energy, including Virginia’s coast.
“By directing the Secretary of the Interior to conduct additional Outer Continental Shelf lease sales between 2012 and 2017, the House replacement bill would generate over half a billion dollars in revenue and lead to the creation of tens of thousands of American jobs…A responsible, all-of-the-above energy policy must include dependable use of American resources, and I was proud to support this bill today that backs American jobs and American-made energy.”
Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb, who are cosponsoring the introduction of The Offshore Petroleum Expansion Now Act of 2012, or the OPEN Act, in the Senate, which allows Virginia to participate in the 2012-2017 lease sales:
“I have long advocated opening up more of the nation’s outer continental shelf resources to responsible natural gas and oil exploration,” said Senator Jim Webb. “Energy exploration and subsequent production within the Virginia Outer Continental Shelf — if coupled with environmental protections and an equitable formula for sharing revenues between the state and federal governments — would boost domestic energy supplies, while benefiting the Commonwealth’s economy.”
“Our economy and national security will be strengthened by an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to energy, including the expanded production of our own domestic energy resources,” said Senator Mark Warner. “I believe that Virginians should benefit from any energy resources that are developed off of our coast, and this legislation requires the federal government to make reasonable royalty payments to the Commonwealth.”
And, of course, Gov. Bob McDonnell, who has long advocated this “all of the above” approach:
“America is in need of a comprehensive, all-of-the-above energy strategy that will secure our energy future and grow domestic energy production. I applaud the United States House of Representatives for supporting, in a bipartisan manner, legislation which will open up Virginia’s waters to offshore drilling. I also applaud the United States Senate on introducing, with bipartisan support, the Offshore Petroleum Expansion Now Act of 2012 (OPEN Act). For too long, President Obama has said no to expanding offshore drilling, a vital energy source that will create jobs and help drive energy costs down nationwide. That is why I am pleased that the House of Representatives today passed H.R. 6082, which replaces the proposed five-year plan with one that includes a sale off Virginia’s outer continental shelf. I encourage the Senate to pass the OPEN Act, which provides a common-sense alternative to the president’s proposed 2012-2017 offshore plan and includes Virginia’s proposed sale. Additionally, I thank Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb for their leadership on this issue. These actions show that Congress is united in a bipartisan manner to reject and replace the President’s plan with one that creates thousands of new jobs and makes America more energy secure, and includes lease sale 220 off the coast of Virginia.”
Looks like Washington decided to work today.