Freshman Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Democrat Jacky Rosen becomes 22nd senator to back bipartisan infrastructure deal 9 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022 MORE (R-Nev.) on Saturday bashed President Obama’s economic record while calling for a balanced-budget amendment and a tax code overhaul that lowers rates.
Heller’s GOP weekly address arrives amid a wave of sour economic news — including new data on meager second-quarter growth — that’s posing a political threat to Obama heading into 2012.
Heller laid out a laundry list of Republican goals in remarks that come ahead of high-stakes bipartisan deficit-reduction negotiations this fall.
He took aim at the White House while more broadly calling for better cooperation in Washington.
“There is no question that the status quo of dysfunctional government must end,” Heller said. “People from all over the country are struggling just to get by and are desperate for real solutions.
“Unfortunately, job creation and economic growth has taken a back seat to political posturing and grandstanding in Washington.”
Heller said the Obama administration’s approach to economic recovery has “failed miserably,” and claimed that “out of control” spending, the healthcare law and federal regulations are stifling growth and costing jobs.
Obama is slated to roll out a jobs agenda next month. Heller, for his part, laid out what he called steps the administration and Congress could take immediately to help boost recovery.
“I believe our best days are still ahead, but we need to change course now,” he said. “Let’s pass a balanced-budget amendment to force the federal government to live within its means, repeal the president’s small business-killing healthcare law, open up our country to energy exploration and reverse the regulations that are tying the hands of entrepreneurs across America.
“We can help hasten an economic recovery by embracing pro-growth policies that place more money in the pockets of Americans. At the same time, we should be assisting those who have lost their jobs and need help.”
He said policymakers should then turn to a major tax code overhaul that makes it simpler for individuals and employers, and closes special interest “loopholes” while lowering people’s overall tax bills.
Heller also sought to preempt Democratic attacks on GOP proposals for scaling back entitlement spending.
“Members of Congress should stop using scare tactics against our nation’s seniors,” he said. “Let’s stop the lies about who wants to end Medicare or eliminate Social Security and fix both programs now. Every member of Congress knows these programs are unsustainable in their current state.”
While his remarks take a number of shots at the administration, Heller said his recent travels in Nevada reveal a public appetite for collaboration.
“The message is clear — it is time for both Democrats and Republicans to come together, put our differences aside so that we can solve our nation’s problems and deliver the solutions the American people are asking for,” he said.