(House of Representatives - February 14, 2013)

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[Pages H505-H506]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Oklahoma (Mr. Mullin) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. MULLIN. I began running a business when I was only 20 years old. 
Back then, if you worked hard and followed the rules, you had a pretty 
good shot at getting ahead. Today, it seems the deck is increasingly 
stacked against those who work hard and pursue their own dreams, 
especially if you're a business owner.
  More and more, businesses are faced with consistent uncertainty 
caused by Washington's inability to take action on today's pressing 
problems. The failure of uncertainty, with tax rates near chaos in the 
markets and a never-ending stream of impractical regulations, is a 
cloud of doubt that has been cast over the entire economy. For most 
business owners, it is a daily struggle just to keep the doors open in 
large part because the government itself is a consistent obstacle.
  The National Federation of Independent Businesses recently released 
figures from December indicating the mood of businesses is at a 
recession level. Seventy percent of business owners that were surveyed 
identified the current environment as a bad time to expand, and 
political uncertainty topped the list for the reasons not to attempt 
economic growth.
  Lee Buddrus, a resident of Muskogee, Oklahoma, and president of Acme 
Engineering & Manufacturing Corporation, told me that a lot of small 
businesses are struggling just because they had to go in debt to stay 
afloat during the recession. Mr. Buddrus went on to tell me, ``Now 
they're not able to make the kind of money they need to to pay down 
their debts,'' due in large part to the environment the government has 
  As a freshman Member, I join a small group of Members in Congress who 
have owned a business. I have felt the weight of the current hostile 
business climate and faced unprecedented difficulties in ensuring my 
business succeeded. I step on the floor of the United States House of 
Representatives with a firsthand understanding of how high the hurdles 
are for a business to succeed and just simply jump over.
  Last month, when President Obama was sworn in to his second term, I 
was reminded of something he said 4 years ago, in his first 
inauguration. The President said:

       The question we ask today is not whether our government is 
     too big or too small, but whether it works--whether it helps 
     families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a 
     retirement that is dignified.

  Unfortunately, all we have seen from this President is reckless 
spending and heavy-handed regulation.
  At the time of the President's first inauguration, the national 
unemployment rate was 7.8 percent. At the time of his second 
inauguration, it was exactly the same, and this month unemployment rose 
to 7.9 percent. While the rate of unemployment has been mostly 
stagnant, the national debt has not. In the past 4 years of failed 
Obama policies, the Nation has added $6 trillion of new debt onto the 
backs of citizens and businesses. Today, our national debt stands at 
$16.4 trillion. Broken down by American citizens, that's $52,210 for 
every man, woman, and child in this country.
  We must get back on the right track and bring optimism into the 
business climate. First, we must pull back some of the regulations that 
bind the hands of our Nation's job creators. Second, Congress must make 
the difficult decisions we were elected to make and restrain government 
spending. Businesses cannot grow or expand in a climate of higher 
interest rates and higher taxes. Third, we have to be about creating a 
job-friendly environment.
  I came to Congress as a businessman who simply got fed up with the 
government hindering my ability to create jobs. My mission every day is 
to make it easier for businesses to start to expand and to be 
  In business, we know first you must face a problem honestly and then 
come up with real solutions that actually solve the problem. The 
economic policy of government trying to spend its way to prosperity has 
failed. Those of us in business know it's the private sector that 
creates real jobs, not the government.
  Strong leadership and meaningful reforms are needed to move the 

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cloud of doubt from our economy. Adding more hurdles will not get this 
job done. It is time we as elected leaders lead. Sometimes it's lonely, 
but it's the right thing to do.