President Barack Obama's has a lot of explaining to do during next week's State of the Union address about his policies are failing to help Americans, especially where jobs are concerned, Sen. Roy Blunt said in Saturday's GOP weekly address
"If all he has to offer is more of the same, or if he refuses to acknowledge that his own policies have failed to work — the president is simply doing what many failed leaders have done before him: trying to set one group of Americans against another group of Americans," the Missouri Republican said. "We don't need more class warfare, and we don't need more interference from Washington."
The president plans to use next Tuesday's speech to kick off his "year of action," including focusing on income inequality leading up to next year's midterm elections.
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"Well, the President’s right about at least one thing," said Blunt. "Americans are hurting. Too many of the poorest Americans continue to suffer from stalled job creation, skyrocketing federal debt, burdensome regulations, and broken promises on health care reform. What President Obama fails to acknowledge is that Americans are hurting as a result of his own policies."
Blunt pointed out that more than 10 million people remain unemployed nationwide, and 2.4 million have stopped looking for a job altogether. Another 8 million have taken part-time jobs since they can't find full-time work, he said.
"This administration’s agenda to create more government, more spending, more taxes, and more debt has created an inequality crisis of opportunity in our country," said Blunt. "Those policies have been disproportionately hurtful to the poorest among us for the past five years."
Republicans are ready to launch their own "year of action," said Blunt, including fixing the nation's broken healthcare system.
"The administration has decided which parts of the law to follow and which parts to delay," said Blunt. "The President himself was forced to take back his promise that people could keep their plan if they liked it. This isn’t the result of some website glitch. It’s a law that’s fundamentally flawed."
Blunt also called for lawmakers to create more "economic certainty."
"No one wants to create a job or hire more people when they have needless uncertainties about what the future holds," said Blunt. "That’s why we need to eliminate confusing and inefficient government regulations."
He noted that he and Maine Republican Sen. Angus King have introduced a bipartisan bill to streamline, consolidate and repeal costly, needless government regulations.
"We can also create economic opportunities for American workers by supporting increased domestic energy production," said Blunt, calling for Obama to approve "shovel-ready projects" like the long-delayed Keystone XL Pipeline
, which has been stalled for five years, to encourage job growth.
"More American energy means more American jobs; and not just the jobs to produce the energy, but also when you provide predictable utility bills and a dependable delivery system, you encourage more American manufacturing and more American technology jobs as well," said Blunt.
Meanwhile, he noted that the Republican-controlled House has passed several bills to jumpstart the economy, but the legislation is stalled in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
"President Obama can join us to grow the nation’s economy and the nation’s jobs," said Blunt. "Or he can continue pushing for more regulations, more taxes, higher utility bills, and health care turmoil – bad policies that hurt poor Americans the most."
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