Growing our economy by getting government out of the way

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By Congressman Bob Goodlatte

Last week the Department of Labor released their monthly report on national unemployment. Unfortunately this most recent announcement simply confirmed what most Americans already know – unemployment remains high and our economy continues to struggle. Last week’s report that unemployment remains at 8.2 percent marked the 41st consecutive month that the national jobless rate was above eight percent.

This is precisely why the House of Representatives has focused on passing a pro-growth agenda which would jump start our economy and get Americans back to work. It is frustrating that virtually every piece of legislation that the House has passed to create jobs and grow our economy has stalled in the Senate.

With numerous bills awaiting consideration by the Senate, perhaps none is more important to our economic well being than the repeal of the President’s costly health care law, known as Obamacare. This disastrous law creates more than 155 new government boards, bureaucracies, commissions and programs at an overwhelming cost to the American people. It mandates that folks have health insurance, makes significant cuts to Medicare and includes substantial new tax increases on American families, workers and job creators.

At a time when removing barriers to employment including the threat of higher taxes, new government regulations and costly mandates is more important than ever, the Obamacare law is already having a devastating effect on our national economy.

According to the National Retail Federation, the employer mandate, which requires employers to offer health insurance or face stiff penalties, is “affecting expansion, franchising and hiring decisions today.” In fact, a recent poll revealed that nearly 50 percent of business owners cite the potential cost of health care as a reason why they are not hiring additional workers.

In addition to the employer mandate, Obamacare includes hundreds of billions in tax increases that will hit not only businesses but hard working Americans as well. For instance, medical device companies have already started announcing layoffs of workers because of the medical device tax found in the law. Device manufacturers are facing a 2.3 percent excise tax on all U.S. sales of their products next year.

The damage that Obamacare will do to our economy is why the House of Representatives moved so quickly following the recent Supreme Court decision to pass bipartisan legislation to repeal Obamacare in its entirety. The American people want to see an end to the economic uncertainty and a plan to create jobs and that includes a repeal of the job-killing Obamacare legislation. They know that the House and Senate must work together to advance policies that put an end to the constant threat of new taxation and excessive regulation from Washington, which has resulted in the worst environment for private-sector job creation in many years.