Hoeven: America Needs a Long-Term, Pro-Growth, Pro-Jobs Economic Strategy

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate today, urging Congress and the President to adopt a long-term, pro-growth, pro-jobs strategy for the nation to get America working again. That includes a legal, tax and regulatory climate that encourages investment and promotes free trade and innovation to create jobs and opportunities for America. 

Following are excerpts from his speech:         

“I rise today to speak on a matter of great importance to our country, and that’s jobs and our economy. I know the president will be speaking this evening, and I want to emphasize the importance that we focus on a long-term strategy to get our economy going. By that, I mean a pro-jobs, pro-growth economic strategy for our country. 

“The things that go into that include building the best possible business climate, the kind of business climate that will stimulate private investment that will stimulate entrepreneurship, ingenuity. It will stimulate job creation by businesses small and large across our economy. We need to build a strong business climate. We need a long-term, pro-growth economic strategy to do that. We also need to control our spending and live within our means, and we need a comprehensive energy policy. All three of these things go into the right kind of long-term, comprehensive approach that this country needs to get our economy growing and get people back to work.” 


“For the last decade in our state, we have focused on a pro-growth, pro-jobs economic strategy. By that, I mean building the best possible business climate, making sure we live within our means and building a comprehensive energy approach to develop all of our energy resources, and there is no reason that we can’t do the same thing at the federal level.” 

“Businesses need to know what our tax policy is. And right now, we have a tax policy that expires at the end of the next year. So how do you as a businessperson go out there and start making investments when you don’t know what the tax policy is going to be beyond the end of next year? We need tax reform. How about regulation? We have incredible regulatory burden. How do you go out there and make an investment, get a business going, hire people if you don’t know what the regulatory requirements are?” 

“We need to reduce that pregnant burden. We need to pass trade agreements so that our companies can sell not just here in the United States, but they can sell globally. If you look at the history of our country, that is how we have grown this economy. That is how we have become the most dynamic economic engine in the world. It’s through that entrepreneurship, that American ingenuity.” 

“And the role of government is to create a business climate that unleashes that potential. We have got to roll back the regulatory burden. We have got to create clear, understandable rules and tax policy to follow so that these companies can make these investments, get the 14-plus-million people back to work, at the same time we get a grip on our spending, start living within our means.  That’s how we not only raise our standard of living and our quality of life, but we make sure that we don’t pass on a huge debt to our children and our grandchildren. 

Reduce Over-Reaching Regulation 

“So let me talk about some of the kinds of laws and legislation that we need to pass to make sure that happens. Not too long ago, President Obama issued an executive order, and I hope it’s something that he talks about this evening in his address to the joint session of Congress. In that executive order, he said all of the federal agencies need to look at their regulations. If those regulations are costly, burdensome, if they don’t make sense, if they are outmoded or outdated, they should be eliminated, so that we empower people, companies throughout this great country to do business. In fact, let’s make it a law.

Integrate UAS Aircraft into the National Airspace 

“Another example: the United States has been the leader in aviation throughout its history. Throughout the history of aviation since Kitty Hawk the United States has led the world in aviation, invention, development and innovation. But yet if we’re going to continue to lead the world in aviation innovation, we have got to find a way to fly both manned and unmanned aircraft together in our airspace, here in the United States. So in the FAA bill, which we’re now working to complete, we’re trying to reconcile the two versions and get it passed again, we need to do this and do it in a bipartisan way. I’ve included language that authorizes and in fact requires that the FAA set up airspace in the United States so that manned and unmanned aircraft can be flown currently. Again, it’s about creating exciting, good-paying jobs of the future. 

Ratify Pending Free Trade Agreements To Create Jobs and Grow the Economy

“One other area I’ll touch on is the free trade agreements. We have three pending free trade agreements. One is with South Korea. Another one is Panama, another one is Colombia.

For three years, those trade agreements have been pending. It’s time we take them from pending to passed. We need the administration to bring those free trade agreements to the Senate and to the House and we will pass them. Just one of those free trade agreements represents more than $10 billion in trade every year. These free trade agreements reduce tariffs on the order of 85 percent. We’re talking more than a quarter of a million jobs that will be created if we pass these agreements. 


“So at the same time we get this economy growing, which will grow our revenues, not higher taxes, we’ve got to get control of our spending and live within our means. Along with my fellow senators I’ve sponsored a number of pieces of legislation that again I believe we can pass in a bipartisan way to make sure that we get our spending under control. 

We Need a Balanced Budget Amendment 

“The first is a balanced budget amendment. I was a governor for ten years. We have a balanced budget every single year. States have a balanced budget requirement, businesses, families and communities all have to live within their means. Our federal government has to live within its means. 

The President Needs a Line-Item Veto 

“We need to pass other tools that can help us get control of our spending. For example, the Reduce Unnecessary Spending Act. This is absolutely a bipartisan act. One of the key things this legislation does is give the president a line-item veto. It gives our president a tool, a line-item veto to make sure we cut out waste, fraud and abuse, that we control our spending. And we need to look at a biennial budget so that we pass a budget on a two-year cycle. 


“We need comprehensive energy policy that will help this country develop all of its energy resources. We did it in my home state of North Dakota. I know that we can do it at the federal level. If you think about it, energy development in this country is an incredible opportunity. It’s an opportunity to produce more energy, more cost effectively with better environmental stewardship that will enable all of our industries, because they all need energy, to compete in a global economy. But in addition to that, we have a great opportunity to create high-paying jobs. 

“For our energy companies that are looking to invest hundreds of millions and billions of dollars, they need to know the rules of the road, because when they make those investments they have to know they’re going to be able to get a return. They have to know that they can meet the regulatory requirements and that those investments may last 40 and 50 years and they know that they’re going to have to be able to recoup those investments. In North Dakota we have oil and gas, we have coal, we have wind, and we’re in the top ten wind producers. We have biofuels, biodiesel, solar – all of them. And different states have different strengths. And a lot of states have oil and gas or coal, or certainly wind, or they can develop the biofuels. But it comes down to creating that environment that stimulates the private investment so companies will come in and do just exactly what I’m talking about at the federal level, as well as at the state level. 

Regulatory Certainty = Jobs + Economic Growth 

“Over the last 30 years, when the cost of regulation is high, you’ll see our economy wasn’t doing very well. And when the cost of regulation was low, you’ll see that it was doing much better. Look at the cost of regulation today – $26.5 billion in 2010. That’s what’s impeding job growth. That’s what’s impeding economic growth and business investment, and we’ve got to address it. We’ve got to roll back the regulatory burden that our companies and our entrepreneurs in this great country face. Now, you’re an energy company. Or you’re a young person with a good idea to develop a new type of energy or an existing type of energy with a new technology. Can you meet all those requirements? Can you even begin to understand them? Do you have a big enough legal team and scientific team, do have you a deep enough wallet to try to figure all of that out before you put your money at risk or your shareholders’ money at risk? 

“We have to create the environment that will encourage, that will stimulate, that will empower private investment and it is that private investment throughout this land that will get our economy going and get people back to work. And we can do it. And it has to be a long-term strategy. It can’t be a few stopgap measures that we put in place now for the next 90 days or for one year at a time. It’s got to be on a long-term, sustained basis. I believe that’s what people want to hear this evening when the President speaks. I think they want to hear that kind of commitment to a long-term strategy, a pro-growth, pro-jobs economic strategy that will get this economy going now, tomorrow, and for the long term. 

“And it has to be done in a bipartisan way to get it through this congress, signed by the President. It’s that kind of vision that we need for our country.”