(Senate - October 13, 2011)

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[Pages S6482-S6483]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                              THE ECONOMY

  Mr. HELLER. Mr. President, I rise today to address the economy as it 
affects my home State of Nevada.
  This recession has hit my home State of Nevada harder than it has hit 
any other State in the country. My State has the unfortunate 
distinction of leading the Nation in unemployment, foreclosure, and 
  As we discuss yet another stimulus this week, I hear from my friends 
on the other side of the aisle their claim that their priorities are 
jobs, jobs, jobs. I have one question about their economic policies: Is 
this working?
  In January 2009 President Obama was inaugurated as President of the 
United States. Democrats controlled both Houses--both the House and the 
Senate--and Nevada's unemployment rate at that time was 9.4 percent. 
The next month the stimulus was passed. Supporters claimed the national 
unemployment level would not rise above 8 percent if we passed the 
stimulus bill. Nevada's unemployment at that time then grew from 9.4 
percent to 10.1 percent.
  In June of 2009 Congress passed the Cash for Clunkers legislation and 
Nevada's unemployment then grew at that point from 10.1 percent to 12 
percent. With the success of Cash for Clunkers, we passed Cash for 
Clunkers II the following August, and Nevada's unemployment rose from 
12 percent to 13.2 percent.
  Then in March of 2010, Congress passed the President's health care 
law. Nevada's unemployment rose again, from 13.2 percent to 13.4 
  In July of that year, Congress then passed the Dodd-Frank reform of 
the financial services industry legislation that effectively limited 
access to capital, both for individuals and small businesses, and 
Nevada's unemployment rate went from 13.4 percent to 14.3 percent. In 
fact, if we go back to May of 2010, Nevada overtook Michigan as the 
State with the highest unemployment rate at 14 percent. With the 
passage of Dodd-Frank, it then rose again to 14.3 percent.
  Then we passed the State bailout in August of 2010, and then stimulus 
No. 2, and Nevada's unemployment rate rose again to 14.4 percent. So 
with the unemployment rate at 14.4 percent and due to the lack of 
economic activity, some people in Nevada have stopped looking for work 
or, worse, some Nevadans have actually left the State for employment 
elsewhere. This has resulted in Nevada's unemployment dipping from 14.4 
percent to 13.4 percent.
  I guess I raise the question for the second time: Have these economic 
policies worked?
  There is a local paper that had a readers' poll and the question of 
this readers; poll was: Is Nevada's economy recovering? Of those who 
responded, 82 percent said no. So regardless of what Washington, DC, is 
trying to tell them, 82 percent of Nevadans understand that the 
economic recovery has not yet occurred in the State of Nevada.
  One of my constituents recently wrote:

       I am writing you today because I am outraged over the 
     stimulus proposal that President Obama is trying to 
     intimidate you into passing. Despite the evidence that the 
     first two stimulus plans have failed, despite the promises 
     that there were shovel ready jobs, despite the other false 
     promises that the first trillion would upgrade our 
     infrastructure and keep unemployment under 8 percent, despite 
     the overwhelming evidence that nearly a TRILLION dollars of 
     taxpayers' dollars were completely wasted in the first 
     stimulus, this President had the audacity to demand that you 
     immediately pass another half a trillion dollars' worth of 
     stimulus. Don't do it!

  So it is that the approach of this administration and its supporters 
have taken for economic recovery has failed miserably. Another stimulus 
bill is not the solution.
  We now have a string of economic policies that are big on talking 
points, light on solutions. People from all over the country are 
struggling just to get by and are desperate for real solutions. It is 
time for new ideas and a new direction, not more of the same. Out-of-
control spending, a health care law that no one can afford, and a 
seemingly endless stream of regulations are crippling employers, 
stifling economic growth, and killing jobs. The American public and 
businesses alike are awaiting a plan that can provide the stability and 
certainty necessary to provide confidence to the American people and 
bolster economic growth.
  I hear some of my friends on the other side of the aisle claim there 
are no ideas for job creation coming from Republicans. Since coming to 
the Senate, I have repeatedly filed job-related amendments when given 
the opportunity but have yet to see an open debate on any of these 
amendments. So if it is true there are no ideas coming from 
Republicans, then there is nothing to fear from an honest, real debate 
on jobs. Instead of symbolic votes and political grandstanding, let's 
actually do the difficult work and address this problem.
  As I suggested to President Obama, Nevada needs a proposal that 
reforms the Tax Code, stops excessive government spending, and provides 
the certainty businesses need to hire. Instead, the administration and 
the Senate majority have recycled the same failed policies, but this 
time they increase taxes on the same businesses we need to create jobs.

  There are a number of actions Congress can take immediately to 
bolster our Nation's economy such as opening our country to energy 
exploration, streamlining the permitting process for responsible 
development of our domestic resources, and reforming our Tax Code, 
making it simpler for individuals and businesses alike, and cutting out 
the special-interest loopholes while reducing the overall tax burden 
for all Americans. Instead of looking for new ways to tax the American 
public and our job creators, we should make our Tax Code more 
competitive and provide businesses the stability they need to grow and 
create jobs.
  As I have stated before, this continual threat of tax increases feeds 
the uncertainty that serves as an impediment to economic growth. These 
are all things that both this administration and Congress can do 
immediately to boost economic recovery.
  I came to Washington to make a difference. Let's start doing the hard 
work we were sent here to do.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

[[Page S6483]]

  Mr. MORAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. MORAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak for up to 
15 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.