No Energy For Job Creation: A Closer Look at the Republican “Jobs” Bills

In their Pledge to America, Republicans promised they would focus on creating jobs and growing our economy. They claim the bills they have brought to the Floor this Congress address those priorities, but their bills are more focused on Republican ideology than actually creating jobs. Republicans do not have a comprehensive jobs agenda, but that hasn’t stopped them from using misleading bill titles to convince the American people that they do. If Republicans were being honest with Americans about what their bills do, they’d be named:

  • H.R. 910, The Repeating the Word “Taxes” Will Make You Think We Aren’t Changing Clean Air Laws Act – to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency’s tools used to curb pollution that harms our health, the air our children breathe and the environment.
  • H.R. 1229, The Just Rubber-Stamp Drilling Permits in 60 Days, Even if You Don’t Know the Consequences Act and H.R. 1230, The Oil Companies Have Millions of Acres of Unused Leases, But Just Want More Act – to rush offshore drilling permits through the approval process, even if critical environmental or safety reviews have not been completed.
  • H.R. 1231, The Ignoring That We Resumed Permitting Drilling for Oil and Gas in the Gulf Months Ago Act – to return to the proposed, and never enacted, drilling policies of the Bush Administration that also no longer exist.

These Republican “jobs” bills – which are not part of a comprehensive jobs agenda– have little chance of becoming law. If House Republicans actually wanted to pass a comprehensive jobs agenda that could put Americans back to work, they would work with the Senate to get things passed and signed into law by the President. Instead they chose to pass the bills above, which you could also name:

  • H.R. 910, The Failed by 10 Votes in the Senate Act
  • H.R. 1229 and H.R. 1230, The Failed by 18 Votes in The Senate Act, which five Republican Senators opposed and no Democratic Senators supported, including Senators from oil producing states.

Moreover, in touting the so-called jobs benefits of this legislation, House Republicans:

  • Cited a study about the bills’ job creation potential that was completed in July 2010, more than eight months before the bills were introduced and that did not analyze the actual legislation in question.
  • Used the “worst case scenario” of permanently ending drilling in the Gulf of Mexico as their estimate of job creation, which ignores the Obama Administration’s resumption of shallow and deep water permitting in the wake of the tragic BP oil spill.
  • Neglected to mention that H.R. 1229 actually costs taxpayers money, $6 million from 2012-16, which is why the bill had to be combined with H.R. 1230 so that it would not add to the deficit.

Republican rhetoric on jobs doesn’t match their actions. It’s time for them to abandon their partisan agenda and work with Democrats to help get Americans back to work.

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