Economy & Budget

My first vote as W.Va. senator will help my state's economically struggling residents (Sen. Carte Goodwin)

Senator Carte Goodwin today released the following statement after casting his first vote in the Senate for a cloture vote to extend unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to thousands of West Virginians and millions of Americans:

“I am deeply honored that my first vote in the United States Senate could help so many of my fellow West Virginians who are struggling during this difficult economy as they search for a new job,” said Senator Goodwin.


Currency tax: A way to invest in our future (Rep. Pete Stark)

Each day, $4 trillion dollars of currency are traded. For international businesses and travelers, trading dollars for other currencies serve a legitimate purpose. However, nearly 80 percent of these transactions are undertaken by a handful of major banks. Experts agree that most of these transactions are made for purely speculative purposes.


The debt spill

The presidency of Barack Obama may end up defined by his handling of two immense and intractable crises.  In the Gulf of Mexico, the BP oil spill has Louisiana swimming in a sea of oil. And in Washington, a bloated federal budget has America drowning in a sea of debt. Though these problems might at first seem unrelated, a closer look reveals that their causes, and their solutions, have much in common.


Mixed messages (Rep. Paul Broun)

Last week, representatives of the Obama Administration toured the country to tout the unsuccessful, big-government stimulus.  At the same time the Vice President attempted to sell these expensive failed policies, the President yesterday went to the bully pulpit and urged Congress to extend unemployment benefits.  It appears that this Administration is sending mixed messages.  If the stimulus was so successful, why do we need to increase our debt by billions more for additional unemployment benefits?


Congress passes law to end secrecy in oil, gas, and mining industry

Last week, Congress made an unprecedented commitment to financial transparency and good governance in a sector that not only affects American wallets but also some of the most vulnerable communities around the world. An historic measure, included as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation passed by the House and Senate, will make disclosure of payments from oil and mining companies to governments around the world a legal requirement, increasing financial transparency in the oil, gas, and mining industry and helping to reduce the corruption, mismanagement, and conflict that are too often associated with natural resource extraction booms.


Congress: Here’s a commonsense way to save jobs and fuel the economy

Congress has at its fingertips an opportunity to save or create 90,000 jobs and avoid a $3.5 billion hit on the economy. It’s a commonsense fix with longstanding precedent. For over a quarter of a century, Congress has been helping to keep down the cost of production by waiving duties on imported production components that are not produced domestically. But the duty suspension has expired at a critical time for our economic recovery. Congress needs to restore this duty suspension at the earliest opportunity.


Virginia's fiscal discipline an example for Washington (Rep. Eric Cantor)

Congressman Eric Cantor (R-Va.) released the following statement after the state government of Virginia announced a $220 million budget surplus:

During these challenging economic times, Virginia balanced its budget and created a revenue surplus of more than $200 million in FY 2010. This is a result of the steady leadership of Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). Due to its fiscal prudence, Virginia was also able to close a $4.2 billion budget shortfall in the FY 2011/2012 by significantly cutting spending and without raising taxes. If America is to get its fiscal house in order, Washington needs to learn from the bold actions taken in Virginia by Governor McDonnell.


Obama’s stimulus fantasy

Here we go again. We have heard countless statements and assertions from the White House over the past 17 months that the Stimulus Bill passed in February of last year is working. It’s time for the White House to stop this rhetorical fantasy and focus on the fact that its policies--Stimulus included--have failed to create jobs for out of work Americans.

Yesterday President Obama was in Michigan touting his Stimulus bill, but people across the state (and the rest of the country) don't need to look much further than the unemployment lines to see that the stimulus has failed miserably.  Whatever employment numbers Obama’s economic team may cook up or whatever photo-ops his staff sets up, the cold, hard facts remain: Obama Democrats want credit for “saving or creating” imaginary jobs because they don’t want to take responsibility for the real jobs they’ve lost.


Support act to help pay down nation's debt (Sen. John McCain and Rep. Jeff Flake)

"The failures of our nation's fiscal problems are staggering … (and) Congress still does not have a budget mechanism that will put the (debt) growth in reverse. This is not to say that Congress hasn't tried to change. We have been on one budget diet after another since the mid-1970s. But like most diets, we are soon back to where we started or even more bloated. It is imperative that we get a handle on our finances. We owe it to future generations of this country."

Though the words above could have been taken from any number of recent congressional-floor speeches, they were actually spoken 17 years ago by Missouri Rep. Melton Hancock in support of a proposed debt-relief bill.


Wisconsin comes before Wall Street (Sen. Russ Feingold)

A Journal Sentinel editorial Tuesday ignores my record when it suggests that politics played a role in my decision to oppose a deeply flawed financial regulatory reform bill. My record on these issues has been consistent: I side with Wisconsin over Wall Street every time.

In 1994, I was one of four senators to oppose the interstate banking bill, which has directly contributed to the creation of massive "too big to fail" financial institutions.