(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Pat Meehan, R-Pa., says if only the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Obama would work with Republicans, Congress could "end the gridlock and get our economy moving."
"As part of Republicans' Plan for America’s Job Creators, the House has passed nearly 30 bipartisan jobs bills that the Senate hasn’t considered, proposals to help small businesses grow and create jobs," Rep. Meehan said in this week's address. "It was promising to see the president come out this week and endorse several of our ideas, but what would really be helpful is for him to urge the Senate to actually vote on them."
One Obama'-endorsed deal Meehan refers to is the the extension of payroll tax cuts. Meehan says a bill to extend the cuts for a full year has been passed by the Republican-led House, but not by the Democratic-controlled Senate. Friday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Democrats are working up a "backup" bill should the payroll conference committee fail to reach an agreement by the Feb. 29 deadline.
Reid said Friday, "if we don't have something in the relatively near future from the payroll conference committee," that he would bring a backup to the floor.
"Democrats will not let taxes go up on the middle class," Reid told reporters on a conference call Friday.
Meehan said another jobs bill Republicans are working on is a plan for energy and infrastructure that would boost job growth in the private sector by removing government barriers. But the Pennsylvania congressman says this would be a departure from "the way things were done in the past by both parties, who stuffed highway bills with earmarks, many of which only drained resources from urgent projects that have a direct connection to economic growth."
“In 2005, I’m sad to say, a Republican-led Congress passed a highway bill that contained more than 6,300 earmarks, including the ‘Bridge to Nowhere,'" Meehan pointed out. "John Boehner was one of only eight members who voted against that bill. He’s now our Speaker, and those days are over."
Meehan says, that a new Republican bill "removes barriers to job growth and reforms the process by ending needless delays, empowering states and communities and ensuring resources go to projects that have a direct connection to our economy."
Meehan calls attention to the bipartisan interest in improving U.S. infrastructure, as it is also supported by President Obama.
“Our economy faces serious challenges right now -- gridlock in Washington doesn’t have to be one of them. The House is acting on good ideas, and with help from the President and Democrats in the Senate, we can get things done. The people we represent sent us here to find solutions and move the country forward -- not further divide it," Rep. Meehan says.
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