Hello, I'm Diane Black. In addition to being a nurse, I'm also a small business owner and I taught at a local community college. I'm also a proud mother of three and grandmother of six—all of them wonderful. Just two months ago today, I had the honor of being sworn-in to serve the people of Tennessee's Sixth Congressional District, as part of the new Republican freshman class in the House of Representatives.
My colleagues and I in the freshman class know that we weren't sent to Washington to sit on our hands, or to find new ways to avoid old problems. We were sent here by our constituents to help put an end to Washington's policies that are making it harder to create jobs and threatening our nation's future.
Job creation has to be the number-one priority for both parties. The policies of the past haven't worked, and despite some signs of life in our economy, the unemployment rate is still far above the levels that the president's advisors promised when the "stimulus" spending bill was signed into law.
What we need is a new approach—a path to prosperity that gets government out of the way by cutting unnecessary spending and removing barriers to job growth. We need to unleash our nation's economy instead of burying it under a mountain of regulation, taxation and debt.
Since the moment we were sworn into office, this has been the focus of our new majority in the House.
Whenever I tour my district and I ask small businesspeople "What can I do to help?" they tell me to just get government out of the way and they'll create the jobs and grow on their own. That's exactly why our new majority is taking a complete inventory of Washington's rules and regulations, looking to root out the ones that make it harder to create jobs.
We're hoping to find things that could have been discovered if Washington had been doing its work in an open and transparent way. There's no better example of this than the 1099 paperwork mandate in ObamaCare. The House passed a bill this week to repeal it.
And soon, we're going to vote to cut wasteful mandatory spending programs—not just in ObamaCare, but also in the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill that's drying up credit for our small businesses. We've also got our eye on EPA rules that are hurting job creation and creating higher gas prices.
It's not just the overreaching that has to stop—it's the overspending, which many economists agree is a barrier to job creation.
It's now been just two weeks since the House passed H.R. 1, a bill that makes much-needed spending cuts and keeps the government running through the end of the fiscal year. Unfortunately, the Democrats who run the Senate haven't allowed a vote on this bill or any other bill that would cut spending and keep the government running long-term.
You may have heard President Obama say that we need to make sure "we're living within our means." He's right about that. Unfortunately, his budget doesn't match his words. It continues out-of-control spending, it adds to our $14 trillion debt, and it adds to the uncertainty that makes it harder to create jobs. Maintaining the status quo—and refusing to offer a credible plan to cut spending—is just unacceptable and inexcusable.
Again, we weren't sent here to sit on our hands. The American people want us to keep the government running while cutting its cost. So with your support, Republicans spearheaded the passage of a short-term measure that cuts spending by $4 billion. That's $4 billion of YOUR money that would otherwise have gone to earmarks and other wasteful programs. It's a start, but it's not nearly enough. By enacting this bill, we have provided another two weeks for our Democrat colleagues in the Senate to either pass H.R. 1, or to pass a credible alternative that meets the people's priorities. Doing nothing is not an option.
After two years, we know that government doesn't create private-sector jobs. It's small businesses and the people behind them who do. That's why our majority is focused on getting government out of the way and charting a new path to prosperity. It's what our constituents sent us here to do, and it's what we need to do for the future of our children and our country.
Thank you for listening.