The recent December unemployment report provides welcome news that more jobs were created last month at a time when so many are struggling. And while signifying a step in the right direction nationally, the simple fact remains that there are still too many in Central and Southside Virginia out of work, and there is still much that is yet to be done as we begin the second session of the 112th Congress.
The House has shown that there are bipartisan solutions to our jobs crisis, and now we need the Senate to act. Over the past year, we have been fully focused on promoting pro-growth measures that would stimulate the economy and provide an environment for job creators to hire and expand. And in the new year, I remain committed to promoting policies that facilitate job growth so that we can get our economy back on track and create jobs in Central and Southside Virginia.
One of the ways in which we can trigger immediate job creation, alleviate pain at the pump, and strengthen our national security is by curbing our dependence on foreign oil. Skyrocketing fuel prices are threatening our economic recovery by stifling job creation, impeding productivity, and causing burdens on Fifth District families.
To address this jobs crisis, we in the House have proposed numerous bipartisan solutions by advancing measures to the Senate which would scale back onerous regulations and pave the way for energy independence.
Implementation of the Keystone XL Pipeline is one of the ways in which we are able to provide immediate jobs in the short term and a more suitable environment for job creation in the long term. This project provides an opportunity for 20 billion dollars of private investment into our economy and 20,000 true shovel-ready American jobs, with hundreds of thousands more stemming from the pipeline’s completion.
Unfortunately, despite widespread support for approval of the pipeline, despite the State Department denying allegations of potential significant environmental impacts, the Administration continues to delay this decision. In doing so, the Administration is blocking the creation of thousands of much-needed jobs and preventing the private sector from investing billions of dollars in our struggling economy.
With our national unemployment rate remaining above an unacceptable 8 percent for the 35th consecutive month, our country does not have time to wait on the President and the Senate to make important decisions like this. Many places in the Fifth District are experiencing jobless rates significantly higher than the national average and the recent unemployment report underlines the fact that Central and Southside Virginia and the rest of the country cannot afford further delay in policies that promote job creation.
Those in the Fifth District should not suffer as a result of Washington’s inaction, and it is my hope that the President will not only listen to members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, but that he will also listen to the American people who are calling for pro-growth policies that promote job creation like the advancement of the Keystone XL Pipeline project.
If you need any additional information on these or any other issues, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.
Robert Hurt represents the Fifth District in the United States Congress.