January 24, 2012

Crapo: State of the Union Needs Focus on Jobs, Economy

Tax reform, deficit reduction, regulatory changes needed to create jobs

Washington, D.C. - Congress and the White House must utilize the new session of Congress to work together to enable job growth and generate economic activity, said Idaho Senator Mike Crapo.  Crapo, a member of the Senate Banking and Finance Committees, attended tonight's State of the Union Address while sitting with the "Gang of Six," the bipartisan Senate group that is seeking agreement to reduce the national debt, the greatest fiscal threat our nation has ever faced. 

"A bipartisan group of more than 40 Senators has already agreed in principle on a framework for reducing spending, utilizing pro-growth tax reform to help create jobs and taking much-needed first steps toward entitlement reform," Crapo said.  "We must build on this momentum.  Idahoans and Americans deserve it.  We need to create jobs, get the economy moving and remove the barriers to new job creation, finding agreement where we can.  Tonight, the President proposed once again raising taxes on some Americans, while temporarily cutting taxes on others.  Instead, we need fundamental tax reform focused on growth through lowering rates for all Americans and dramatically reducing compliance costs.  I agree with the President that tax reform is necessary, but tax hikes are not the answer."

"Our national debt has grown 43 percent in the last three years," Crapo said.  "We are now at over $15 trillion in national debt-a $4.6 trillion increase over just the last few years.  The American people deserve a government committed to limited government and free enterprise, not more spending and borrowing.  The President proposed several initiatives tonight which would further increase federal spending; as usual, his proposals are absent the specifics of how costs will be covered without adding to the deficit."

"There are several projects that do have bipartisan support, but lack support from the White House," he added.  "The President announced an 'all of the above' strategy for energy, which I support, but it should include the Keystone XL Pipeline, a project that would double U.S. import capacity for Canadian oil sands crude while creating 20,000 direct jobs, stimulating the economy by $7 billion and increasing energy independence," Crapo said.  Crapo also raised the importance of passing the bipartisan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regulatory Relief Act, which would ensure that new EPA standards for industrial boilers and commercial incinerators do not bring further harm to the economy.  He agreed Congress must stick to its plans for a budget blueprint and not get sidetracked by politics. 

Crapo is a member of the House-Senate conference committee which is determining how to address the temporary payroll tax cut extension, the pipeline project and other provisions.  "We need a workable plan to reduce the debt and revive the economy.  We need to break through the gridlock. Let's use the new year as an opportunity to work together."