(PHILADELPHIA) — In this week’s Republican address, Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick celebrates America’s workers ahead of the Labor Day holiday.
Honoring the ingenuity and hard work of the United States — a “nation that builds things,” as Fitzpatrick calls it — the Pennsylvania congressman also calls attention to challenges he says the president’s policies are creating for families and American workers.
Read the full text of the Republican address:
“Hello, I’m Mike Fitzpatrick, proudly serving Pennsylvania’s eighth congressional district.
“It’s an honor to speak with you this weekend as we celebrate the spirit and ingenuity of America’s workers.
“We are a nation that builds things. From skyscrapers to smartphone apps, we live in a land where anyone can create, innovate, and pursue their American Dream.
“But as I’ve traveled throughout my district this summer – visiting 100 local businesses in 100 days to speak with workers and business owners – it’s easy to sense that Americans are frustrated.
“Nearly five years into the Obama presidency, the workers who drive our economy see nothing but roadblocks coming out of Washington.
“President Obama’s health care law comes to mind.
“It’s driving up premiums, and forcing workers and their spouses out of plans that they like. Small companies say the taxes and government mandates make it more difficult for them to hire. Even doctors are warning that the law doesn’t come close to addressing the real problems in our health care system.
“It simply isn’t working as promised – and the president knows it. He’s already signed seven bills repealing or defunding parts of it. And he’s been busy handing out waivers and delays.
“Republicans want to protect everyone from this health care law so we can focus on step-by-step, patient-centered reforms that actually lower costs. We think it’s only fair to give all Americans the same delay the president is giving to big businesses. But the president threatened to veto a bipartisan bill that would do so – why?
“President Obama’s energy policies are another concern.
“Republicans have an all-of-the-above energy strategy that will help lower prices, boost manufacturing, and improve our national security. But the president is blocking efforts to create jobs and make energy more affordable. Case in point: the Keystone energy pipeline.
“This month marks five years since the Keystone application was first filed. Since then, it’s passed every environmental review. Labor unions want it. It’s privately funded – no taxpayer dollars involved. And again, it has bipartisan support in Congress.
“So why is the Obama administration still standing in the way of this ‘shovel-ready’ project?
“Lastly, people in my district are also worried about the size and scope of the federal government. They’re worried that the threat of higher taxes and the almost-endless stream of red tape are choking the engines of our economy.
“Republicans want to get spending under control and simplify the tax code – making it flatter and fairer for everyone. And we’ve passed several jobs bills to eliminate excessive regulations and bring common-sense oversight to the regulatory process.
“But the president is still pushing more of the same tax hikes and ‘stimulus’-style policies that have left us with weak job growth, high prices, and stagnant paychecks. Again we have to ask: why?
“If there’s one thing I’ve heard a lot of these last few weeks, it’s that people want Congress to focus on expanding opportunity instead of expanding the government.
“That’s the goal of the Republican jobs plan – and you can see it at gop.gov/jobs. It’s focused on breaking down the government roadblocks that are hurting our economy, and putting Americans back in the driver’s seat.
“Because we want to make sure that the workers we’re celebrating this weekend can keep doing what they do best: building. Creating. And preserving the American Dream for future generations.
“Thank you for listening.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Tal Kopan, John Berman and Sunlen Serfaty, CNN Newswire
Jeremy Diamond, CNN