Economy & Budget

Minimum wage increase hinders our economic recovery (Rep. Pete Olson)

Today, another burden is being placed on America’s small businesses. Effective on this date is the third installment of the increase of the minimum wage that was passed in 2007. Once again, our federal government has provided not a help, but a hindrance to our economic recovery.

When the three phase minimum wage increase was initially signed into law in May 2007, the unemployment rate was 4.5% and when the first phase went into place the unemployment rate was 4.6%. Today it stands at 9.5%. At a time of record deficits, uncertainty of increased taxes and looming prospect of government takeover of the healthcare system, and a national energy tax, small businesses simply cannot afford this final wage increase.

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PAYGO will force Congress to be good stewards of taxpayer money (Rep. Lincoln Davis)

This week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2920, the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2009. The bill will hold the Congress to a simple rule: that the Congress should pay for new tax policy and entitlement spending with cuts or revenue raisers elsewhere in the budget. Essentially, we have to account for what we spend.

PAYGO rules are crucial to keeping federal spending in check, and the return to this policy is not a moment too soon in this tough economy. The Congress has not been subject to PAYGO rules since the Clinton Administration, when the practice helped move America away from budget deficits and into the successive budget surpluses the nation enjoyed at the end of President Clinton’s term.

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PAYGO Is the Way to Go (Rep. Michael McMahon)

This country has been navigating one of its worst economic crises and determining both rehabilitative and preventative measures to restore our economy has not always been an easy decision. One, however, has been.

PAYGO works on a simple principle – balance your budget. Most American families operate under this principle; there is no reason why Congress shouldn’t.

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House-passed "PAYGO" bill won't work (Rep. Virginia Foxx)

Congress has cooked up another a batch of fake fiscal responsibility that looks good but is really a recipe for more record deficits.

Don’t take my word for it.  The independent experts at the Congressional Budget Office found that H.R. 2920 could actually produce larger federal deficits.  In its report on the bill CBO writes that “the legislation’s enactment could lead to larger future deficits.”
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Brown deems Democrat "PAYGO" bill a ploy and demands real fiscal responsibility (Rep. Henry Brown)

Yesterday, in an attempt to shield themselves from the criticisms of their massive spending bills, House Democrats forced passage of their version of a “pay-as-you-go” budgeting system for the US Government.

My Republican colleagues and I have called for the Democrats in Congress to show fiscal restraint, and as the deficit reached $1 trillion earlier this year, this effort seemed to be just the thing to create fiscal restraint in Washington.

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PAYGO will help rein in spending (Rep. Hank Johnson)

I heard one of my colleagues call this legislation a “fiscal façade” – a cover if you will for exploding deficits and spending.

The truth is it will help reaffirm fiscal discipline by forcing Congress to prioritize essential investments and cut wasteful spending and subsidies. Any increase in spending would have to be offset by decreases in spending elsewhere in the budget.

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America needs a national manufacturing policy. Now. (Sen. Sherrod Brown)

Not too long ago, the ticket to the middle class was straightforward. Work hard, play by the rules, and you'll have something to show for it -- a good wage, a secure job and home, and a solid pension.

Our nation -- and economy -- relied on workers around Ohio to build cars and appliances, to lay down rail lines and highways. Their work put them squarely in the middle class. Their work -- and a thriving manufacturing industry -- turned our nation into an economic superpower.
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America Needs a National Manufacturing Policy. Now. (Sen. Sherrod Brown)

Not too long ago, the ticket to the middle class was straightforward. Work hard, play by the rules, and you'll have something to show for it -- a good wage, a secure job and home, and a solid pension.

Our nation -- and economy -- relied on workers around Ohio to build cars and appliances, to lay down rail lines and highways. Their work put them squarely in the middle class. Their work -- and a thriving manufacturing industry -- turned our nation into an economic superpower.
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If we are going to recover from this recession, small business will lead the way (Rep. Erik Paulsen)

We are losing jobs at an alarming rate. Unemployment is now at 9.5% and is expected to increase, which means more and more families will struggle to make ends meet. In fact, President Obama has now acknowledged that unemployment will continue to “tick up for several months.” This is the most difficult economic situation most of us have seen in our lifetime and I believe Congress and the Administration have missed critical opportunities to address this issue by ignoring the most important component of the solution: small business.

Small businesses are most significant job creators in our economy; responsible for creating nearly seven out of ten new jobs in the United States. If we are going to recover from this recession, small business will lead the way.

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Growing innovative businesses (Rep. David Wu)

After 20 years, even successful programs often need a tune up. That’s just what the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program got last week when the House updated it to help grow innovative small businesses and insure that American innovators can compete more easily in today’s changing global economy. SBIR will now be better equipped to help America’s entrepreneurs commercialize innovative technologies, creating new products and new American jobs.

Key changes to SBIR include increasing the size of early- and mid-stage program awards to reflect the actual costs of doing high-tech research and increasing the program’s flexibility by allowing cross-agency awards and allowing applicants to apply directly for Phase II funding.

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