An educated workforce is crucial to jump-starting our economy and creating more jobs. Unfortunately, too many students and recent graduates in this country are tied down by cumbersome student loan debt. The House has acted to keep student loan rates from doubling on July 1, but unfortunately our bill is still stuck in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Creating jobs and growing our economy are the top priorities of the American people, and they are the top priorities for House Republicans as well. We have a plan to create more jobs and secure the future for all Americans by expanding opportunity, not expanding government.
Last week, House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) hosted a Vietnamese American Meetup at the United States Capitol. The event included over 800 Vietnamese American community leaders from across the country for an open discussion with House Republicans. Watch our highlight video below:
Policy Feature Issue: May Jobs Report
Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its May monthly jobs report. Though nonfarm payroll employment increased by 175,000 in May, the unemployment rate slightly increased from 7.5% in April to 7.6% in May. While an overall increase in employment is a good sign, the May jobs report shows little sign that the economy is gaining any momentum. Labor force participation, the total number of unemployed persons, and job growth all point to the fact that the economy is stagnant and is showing little sign of a quick turnaround.
Facts You Need to Know:
Why Does a “Pro-Growth” Agenda Matter?
 Source: Joint Economic Committee, supra note 2
In this week's address, Congressman Luke Messer (R-IN) discusses House Republicans' recent action to address the rising cost of student loans and keep rates from doubling on July 1. The House passed a long-term fix to student debt with market-based interest rates and protections for the most vulnerable young Americans. President Obama has already campaigned against this legislation, but the fact is it mirrors many of his ideas. The President and Senate Democrats should stop politicizing this issue and work with us on these smarter solutions to help our nation's students.
Congressman Luke Messer (R-IN) will deliver the Weekly Republican Address tomorrow, Saturday, June 8. Here's a behind the scenes look at Rep. Messer delivering the address, in which he's expected to discuss House Republicans' recent action to prevent student loan rates from doubling on July 1. It's time for the President and Senate Democrats to join the House and help young Americans with a meaningful fix to student debt. You can watch the address here tomorrow.
Policy Feature Issue: Global Intellectual Property Theft
The current state of the global economy is tenuous. Global economic growth in industrially developed countries is stagnant, with high unemployment pervasive particularly among youth. Global intellectual property theft is fast becoming a silent destroyer of economic growth and a barrier to job creation, including here in the United States. Much of global IP theft originates from the People’s Republic of China, a reality that complicates our economic relationship with the rising global power.
At a time when the American economy is struggling with stagnant growth, high unemployment, and a weak recovery, intellectual property theft serves as another structural barrier to our economic recovery. In anticipation of the President’s summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping this Friday on the issues of cyber security and IP theft, it is important to understand the economic strain that IP theft really has on the economy.
Facts You Need to Know:
Why is Global IP Theft Important?
 Feinberg, Robert M. and Donald J. Rousslang. “The Economic Effects of Intellectual Property Right Infringements.” The Journal of Business, Vol. 63, No. 1, Part 1. p. 79-90. January 1990.
House Republicans have a plan to create more jobs and secure the future for hardworking taxpayers. The American people deserve controlled Washington spending, less regulation, a simpler tax code, and a government held accountable to its citizens.
This morning, President Obama will urge Congress to take action on student loans. The House already acted to keep rates from doubling on July 1st by passing a solution that included key parts of what the President wanted in a student loan bill.
What the President Asked for in a Student Loan Bill:
“The proposal in the President's FY 2014 Budget would keep rates from doubling on July 1, with a long-term solution that is deficit-neutral and offers affordable, market-based rates, particularly for those students and families who struggle most with the cost of college.”( Statement of Administration Policy, Executive Office of the President, May 22, 2013)
“We are interested in a long-term fix, we are interested in it being budget-neutral and look forward to continue conversations with you and others to find some common ground.” (Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Testimony before the House Education and the Workforce Committee, 05/21/13)
What House Republicans Delivered in the Smarter Solutions for Students Act:
“The Smarter Solutions for Students Act puts an end to temporary fixes and campaign promises. (H.R. 1911 The Smarter Solutions for Students Act, Bill Summary)
"According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the bill will save the federal government $995 million over five years and $3.7 billion over 10 years." (H.R. 1911 The Smarter Solutions for Students Act, Bill Summary)
"Under the legislation, student loan interest rates would reset once a year and move with the free market, much like they did from 1992 to 2006." (H.R. 1911 The Smarter Solutions for Students Act, Bill Summary)
"The legislation provides stability for low- and middle-income students working to finance their postsecondary education, and prevents future uncertainty about whether Congress is going to act in time to change the interest rate." (H.R. 1911 The Smarter Solutions for Students Act, Bill Summary)
What They are Saying about the Smarter Solutions for Students Act
“The Republican bill echoes a plan Obama offered in April to tie interest rates to the yield on the 10-year Treasury bill, rather than setting them via an act of Congress.” (House approves Republican student loan bill, Nick Anderson, Washington Post, May 23, 2013)
“The U.S. House will vote Thursday on a Republican plan to head off the increase inspired by an unlikely source: President Obama.” (House begins effort to head off student loan increase, Susan Davis, USA Today, May 22, 2013)
“President Obama proposed pegging loan rates to the rate at which the government borrows, plus a relatively modest markup. On Thursday, the House Education and the Workforce Committee endorsed a similar policy. ... There’s no reason to delay passing such a policy.” (Reforming student loans is off to a good start, Editorial Board, Washington Post, May 20, 2013)
“The bill creates a permanent fix by setting student loan interest rates at a level equal to the 10-year Treasury note, plus 2.5 percent. Rates would be reset every year, and the bill would also cap rates at 8.5 percent.” (House passes GOP student loan bill, sets up Obama showdown, Pete Kasperowicz, May 23, 2013)
"The Republican-dominated U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted to switch federal student loan interest rates to a market-based system." (Student loan bill tying rates to market passes House, Elvina Nawaguna, Reuters, May 23, 2013)
Policy Feature Issue: Student Loan Debt
As nearly 1.8 million students graduate from American colleges and universities this year, it should be a time for celebration and excitement. Yet, most students are now saddled with extraordinary debt and are entering one of the weakest recoveries in history. For many, it is not inconceivable that they will be navigating uncharted territory as it relates to their prospects for a financially secure future. Unemployment among recent college graduates remains significantly higher than the national average. Moreover, the burden of student loan debt represents a major hurdle for recent graduates to overcome in order to achieve financial stability.
Facts You Need to Know:
Why is Student Loan Debt Important?
 30 is the median age for first-time homebuyers.
Policy Feature Facts: Energy Policy under President Obama
The President has touted an “all-of-the-above” Energy Policy, which promises to put the United States on the pathway to domestic energy independence, economic growth, and job creation. But once again, the facts do not support the rhetoric.
What You Really Need to Know:
 Frank Ackerman, “Employment Effects of Coal Ash Regulation” Stockholm Environment Institute Report, October, 2011, p. 3
Check out our new Spanish-language video "Energia Norteamericana" featuring Representatives Jeff Denham (CA-10). Trey Radel (FL-19), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), and David Valadao (CA-21).
They talk about the importance of an all-American energy plan that would create jobs and unleash countless opportunities for the Hispanic community.
Highlights from the video:
"With more than 2 million Latinos looking for work, we need more jobs, we need more opportunities, and we need them now."
"Tapping into American energy would unleash countless job opportunities. It would create jobs, lower prices at the pump, and give all of us a more secure future."
"Republicans are working every day to improve people's lives in our communities and create more jobs. An all-American energy plan would do just that."
Policy Feature Issue: Long-term Unemployment
Three weeks ago, the April monthly jobs report indicated signs of improvement. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that unemployment rate decreased from 7.6 percent in March to 7.5 percent in April. However, as referenced in previous issues, the drop in the unemployment rate is deceiving. April’s labor force participation rate (LFPR) and employment-population ratio (EPR) reveal a much different picture of the economy’s strength. Another key indicator determining the strength of the current economic recovery is the number of individuals who are considered “long-term unemployed”. Analyzed together with the LFPR and the EPR, long-term unemployment is important in understanding exactly how frail the current recovery is.
What is Long-term Unemployment?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines the “long-term unemployed” as active participants in the labor force who have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks. This number does not take into account those workers who have dropped out of the labor force and stopped looking for work. The current size of the long-term unemployed population is attributable to a weak economic recovery. Low aggregate demand for goods and services has resulted in reduced hiring. There are also structural factors that contribute to long-term unemployment, including a population that does not have the skills necessary to transition to available jobs and geographic immobility.
Facts You Need to Know:
Why Does a “Pro-Growth” Agenda Matter?
Economic growth is the primary driver of job creation and employment in the United States. Though the administration points to decreasing unemployment as a sign of economic strength, it fails to recognize the unprecedented weakness of the current recovery and the current disincentive to reentering the workforce. Current economic growth and job creation are barely sufficient to sustain normal population growth. Moreover, slow economic growth has also hindered the creation of millions of jobs necessary to combat long-term employment. It is only through real economic growth that the jobs necessary to speed the recovery, broaden the tax base, and instill confidence in labor market will be created.
It is also important to mention that many of the long-term unemployed lack the skills necessary to transition back into the workforce particularly in emerging industries like information technology, engineering, and other skilled trades. This adds additional economic costs for the unemployed who need to learn the necessary skills for growing industries as well as for companies who will need to use additional resources to train new employees. Long-term unemployed also suffer from institutional barriers due to their status. A study from the Boston Federal Reserve showed that candidates who recently lost a job were more likely to be called for interviews than those who had been out of work long-term, further contributing to the economic and psychological burdens of the long-term unemployed. This further increases the risk of a permanently unemployed class developing in the United States.
Simply put, the current rate of economic growth is insufficient in encouraging willing workers to enter the workforce. Implementing an agenda which focuses on reinvigorating anemic economic growth is extremely important in reducing long-term unemployment and ensuring stable long-term job growth.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the first responders affected by the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma.