President Barack Obama's "politics of division" are harming the U.S. economy and the country as a whole, Sen. John Barrasso claims.
"The president’s politics of division is hurting the economy and the country. Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill already agree on specific ideas to get America and Americans back to work," the Wyoming Republican wrote in a Washington Times op-ed.
Barrasso urged White House staff to refrain from scripting a speech aimed at "applause lines" in Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday. Instead, he said they should work with him on an agenda that helps Americans by jump-starting the economy.
Barrasso maintained his constituents want jobs and careers, not a "check from Washington." He called upon the president to "focus on real solutions with proven bipartisan support."
While unemployment benefits could provide a "vital safety net" for families, Barrasso maintained they were not a "long-term solution for what is becoming a part-time-jobs economy." He wrote that the president's policies were "failing to make it easier for the American economy to recover robustly."
Barrasso outlined three areas where President Obama could work with Congress, rather than using executive action to further policy efforts, as he has threatened:
- Approving the Keystone XL Pipeline, which enjoys bipartisan support. The project could support 42,000 jobs alone, Barrasso wrote;
- Reining in regulatory restrictions in the Environmental Protection Agency. That would ease the financial burden of Americans, Barrasso suggested. Not only are they causing energy costs to rise, but costing jobs;
- Repealing Obamacare's medical device tax, which he indicated had overwhelming support in the Senate, and was another drain on the economy.
"If the president announces these three policies in his State of the Union address, the country and the economy would benefit. And, a bipartisan group of Republicans and Democrats will stand and applaud," he wrote.
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