“We must focus on strengthening the economy. Unfortunately, the President’s address offered little in the way of substantive policies that will lead to the kind of strong job creation you see when employers have the resources to invest, hire and increase wages.
“Rather than rely on more of the same – more calls for increasing the minimum wage, another round of extended unemployment benefits and more costly regulations that grow government but shrink resources – it would have been encouraging to hear the President offer specific ideas on two policies that can put more money in the hands of hardworking families and create jobs – making the tax code simpler and fairer for all and pursuing ambitious trade policies.
“Our current tax code is an anchor dragging down our economy. We must modernize our tax code so businesses can hire new workers and Americans can see more take-home pay. While the President noted the importance of corporate tax reform, we must reform all of the tax code so that hardworking families and businesses on Main Street can have a tax code that works for them – not just big business. Tax reform done right means greater economic growth and more money in the pockets of middle-class families.
“The President mentioned Trade Promotion Authority tonight, and while he must actively engage on this issue, especially with Members of his own party, I look forward to passing the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act. Passing TPA will allow the United States to pursue new opportunities to sell American-made goods and services around the world. Our trade agreements are proven job creators that deserve bipartisan support.
“While we can all agree that action must be taken to preserve the promise of Social Security and Medicare for both today’s beneficiaries and future generations, the President offered no plans for how he will work with Republicans and Democrats to provide certainty to beneficiaries. Both of these safety-net programs face serious financial challenges and the time for action is now. The Ways and Means Committee has held numerous hearings and examined thoughtful proposals to find bipartisan solutions, but without leadership from the White House, the programs seniors and those with disabilities depend on are in jeopardy.
“Finally, while the President touted the benefits of his health care law, he forgot to mention the millions of low and middle-income workers who are feeling the real pain of ObamaCare – in the form of lost coverage, lost jobs, fewer hours and lower wages.
“America is a great country and our families and job creators need, and deserve, better than the ‘proven to fail’ economic policies that were showcased tonight. It is time for policies that yield real results – and that begins with tax and trade policies that can deliver solutions for America.”