Hoeven Offers Three-Part Strategy to Create Jobs and Build the National Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. John Hoeven today offered a three-part strategy to get America working again. He cited North Dakota’s proactive approach to job creation, and called for the application of common sense to the nation’s fiscal challenges. In a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate, he said: 

“We can create jobs and lift our nation out of the financial quandary we’re in – if we have a will to act and if we focus tirelessly on the kinds of things that create jobs and opportunities for our people. 

“To do that, I would like to propose a three-part strategy to get America working again: 

  • First, we need to create a legal, tax, and regulatory climate that gets business investment off the sidelines – and gets people back to work.
  • Second, we need to rein in spending and control our debt and deficit, and
  • Third, we need a comprehensive, pro-growth energy policy to fuel our economy, reduce dependence on foreign energy, and create good jobs for American workers.” 


Hoeven said the first step to creating jobs and boosting the national economy is to build a strong business climate for America, with the kind of legal, tax, and regulatory certainty investors need to create jobs. That means passing legislation that will eliminate or modify unwarranted or misguided regulations that are impeding business investment and stifling innovation. 

He said specific legislation now working its way through Congress are the building blocks to achieve that, and he cited a bills he is cosponsoring designed to reduce the regulatory burdens on business, including elimination of the 1099 reporting requirement in last year’s health care bill, and the need for tort reform and increased competition for the health insurance industry. 

Hoeven highlighted legislation he has authored that will provide the Federal Emergency Management Agency with flexibility to build permanent flood control structures on land the agency has bought out. FEMA rules currently prohibit all development in areas that are likely to flood, In the case of Cass County, the City of Fargo and other municipalities along the Red River where homes are already at risk, however, permanent diking is a less expensive alternative to temporary annual mitigation. 

The FEMA Common Sense and Cost Effectiveness Act of 2011 will give the agency the flexibility it needs to make “common sense” decisions regarding such situations. 

“Building those levees once, and leaving them in place, will provide better flood protection for people and property, better fiscal stewardship, and save taxpayer dollars,” Hoeven said. 


Hoeven’s second recommendation, of no less importance than building a good business climate, is reduce spending.  

“Here, the numbers speak more clearly than words. Revenues this year are projected to be $2.2 trillion, while current spending is $3.7 trillion, leaving a $1.5 trillion deficit. To meet that shortfall, we are borrowing 40 cents on every dollar we spend. At the same time, our national debt is growing $4 billion a day.  

“Every dollar used to service the national debt is a dollar that won’t be used to build America’s infrastructure, that won’t be used to keep Social Security solvent, that won’t be used to reduce taxes on American businesses so that they can create jobs and raise the standard of living for American workers.” 

Hoeven said he and 63 other Senators – 32 Republicans and 32 Democrats – sent a letter to President Barack Obama earlier this month urging him to show leadership in the effort to achieve comprehensive deficit reduction. He also announced last week that he is cosponsoring a bill to create a Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States Constitution. 

“It would cap spending and balance our budget, but it also allows an appropriate exception for times of war,” Hoeven said in his floor speech. “At the same time, it provides a transitional pathway to implement the law and protect programs like Social Security and Medicare for our seniors and future generations of Americans.” 


Hoeven’s third recommendation is a call to begin the process of building a comprehensive energy policy for the nation – an Empower America plan similar to the state’s Empower North Dakota plan – that promotes the development of all the nation’s vast energy resources – both traditional and renewable.

Congress has not passed comprehensive energy policy in our country in years. “In North Dakota, we built Empower North Dakota over a decade – piece by piece – and saw firsthand the power of energy development to boost the economy. “By embracing Empower North Dakota our state alone realized $12 billion in new energy-related investments since 2005. With the right energy policy in place, imagine what our nation could accomplish.”

 “Creating a comprehensive energy policy is especially important because our entire economy – and consequently job growth – depends on abundant, affordable energy,” he said. “By impeding our energy industry, we are impeding one of the most potent areas of prospective job growth.”

To expedite the process of building energy policy on the national level, Hoeven said he’s working with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the Republican Conference to create the kind of legal and regulatory climate the country needs to jumpstart America’s energy sector and create jobs.

 Hoeven cosponsored an amendment that sought to curb the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases, and encourage domestic energy development. The measure won 50 votes – a near majority – on the Senate floor Wednesday, but failed to gain the 60 necessary for passage. “We need to continue to work with our colleagues across the aisle to pass legislation, or legislation like it, because impeding the energy industry is not a Republican problem or a Democrat problem: It’s an American problem,” Hoeven said.

“A permanent measure like this is needed to provide the certainty that businesses need to make billion dollar investments in new energy projects, and more importantly, create the good paying jobs that a robust energy sector can create,” Hoeven said. “Increased domestic energy production is a three-fer – we not only promote economic vitality, but we reduce our dependence on unstable foreign sources of energy – and we create jobs.”

The Senator concluded with a call to action: “These are all things we can and must do for our nation. I am committed to working with you, my fellow senators, to do just that – for the strength and financial well-being of our country today, and for the benefit of future Americans, for generations to come. The future is in our hands.”

Click here to watch the entire speech.