GOP Address: Sen. Blunt Says Domestic Energy Is Shortest Path to Jobs

United States Senate(WASHINGTON) -- In this week's Republican address, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt calls on the Obama administration and Senate Democrats to work together to pass "bipartisan solutions that would relieve pain at the pump and pressure on jobs."

Rather than focusing on what Blunt calls "common sense" steps to reduce gas prices and create jobs, the senator says the administration and Senate Democrats are "focused on the wrong things."

"The latest example was the Senate's vote this week on the so-called Buffett Tax -- a gimmick that would do nothing to jumpstart jobs or lower fuel prices for average Americans who are really struggling to make ends meet and has a lot of negative consequences," Blunt says in the address.

The Buffett Rule was named for billionaire entrepreneur Warren Buffett, who voiced support for increased income taxes for the wealthy after calling attention to his lower tax rate compared to that of his secretary.  Under the tax plan, proposed by President Obama last year, individuals making more than a million dollars in annual income would have to pay a minimum tax rate of 30 percent.

But Blunt says the government's number one priority should be the creation of jobs and relief of energy costs.  Blunt notes that a lead sponsor of the Buffet Rule "admitted on the Senate floor this week, that according to him, 'the aim of this bill is not to lower the unemployment rate or the price of gasoline.'"

Blunt uses this week's Republican address to respond to the statement: "Why would the Senate be talking about things that wouldn’t have impact on energy prices or our economy? Why would we have wasted the week on something like that? There’s really no excuse for not doing things that would lower gas prices and encourage private sector job creation," he says.

Citing a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce study, Blunt says small business owners' top concern was gas prices and, consequently, they are not hiring because they aren't "confident with the [economic] recovery."

By blocking the Keystone XL Pipeline, Blunt says the administration and Senate Democrats are blocking solutions for economic recovery.

The Keystone pipeline, according to Sen. Blunt, is "the nation's largest shovel-ready project, no taxpayer money involved, it would create thousands of American jobs and deliver more than 800,000 barrels of oil a day to our refineries from our best trading partner and our closest neighbor, Canada -- all without costing taxpayers."

Blunt criticizes Senate Democrats for blocking legislation that would produce more domestic energy, and says Keystone is "one common sense step in the right direction."

"Jobs, jobs, and jobs should be the number one, two and three domestic priorities of the federal government. The shortest path to more American jobs is more American energy," he says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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