WASHINGTON -- House Republicans routinely beat the drum about the hard work they have done in passing "more than 30 jobs bills" that are now before the Democrat-controlled Senate, going nowhere, as the economy gasps for air.
For almost a year, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) have plugged their jobs package at every opportunity. They regularly bring it up at press events, during floor speeches and in statements in response to just about anything related to the economy. Boehner even carries around in his jacket pocket a 4-by-8-inch card that lists off their jobs bills, and he encourages his members to flash their cards at campaign events.
"President [Barack] Obama and Democrats here in Congress have shown us what doesn't work: more government, more spending, more taxes don't create more jobs," Boehner said at a recent weekly briefing. "We've passed more than 30 jobs bills, including bipartisan bills expanding energy production and projects like the Keystone pipeline."
Cantor plugged the jobs bills -- and nudged Democrats to get on board with the Republican plan -- in response to the June unemployment report. "House Republicans are committed to bold, pro-growth policies and have passed dozens of bills to create jobs," he said in a statement. "We've begun to right the ship, but we will not be able to achieve long-term growth without willing partners in the White House and Senate."
The GOP jobs package, which currently includes 32 bills, represents Republicans' hallmark legislative accomplishment over the past two years. In the months ahead of the election, they will lean on it as proof of two things: that they are not the do-nothing obstructionists that Democrats paint them as, and that they are working hard to address the 8.2 percent unemployment rate.
But there's a problem with their jobs bills: They don't create jobs. At least, they won't any time soon.
In interviews conducted by The Huffington Post with five economists, most said the GOP jobs package would have no meaningful impact on job creation in the near term. Some said it was not likely to do much in the long term, either.
"A lot of these things are laughable in terms of a jobs plan that would produce noticeable improvements across the country in the availability of employment in the next four or five years," said Gary Burtless, a senior economist at Brookings. "Even in the long run, if they have any effect all, it would be extremely marginal, relative to the jobs deficit we currently have."
Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody's Analytics, agreed that the bills would have almost no effect on job creation in the short term, though he was slightly more optimistic about their long-term prospects.
"These kind of changes will matter over a period of three to five years," Zandi said. "It takes that long before businesses can digest changes and respond to them."
He noted, though, that legislation as narrowly targeted as the Republican package is unlikely to do much for real job creation.
"For it to show up in a meaningful way in the natural economy, you can make specific changes that could affect a specific industry or a few companies, but it's not going to make a big difference in terms of the monthly job numbers," Zandi said. "It takes some very significant changes across lots of different industries to really make a big difference."
Carl Riccadonna, a senior economist at Deutsche Bank, said some of the bills could create jobs, but that they would amount to more of an afterthought in terms of achieving broader policy goals.
"They are very narrowly targeted, and it gives the impression that maybe some of this is special interest really pursuing these, not really taking a macro view but a very, very micro focus in what the impact would be," Riccadonna said. For most of the bills in the package, "jobs are a second- or third-order effect, not the main priority."
At the heart of the GOP jobs package is a push for rolling back regulations -- and gutting environmental laws that regulate clean air and water -- to spur job growth. The House Republican Conference website makes the argument that deregulation will "remove onerous federal regulations that are redundant, harmful to small businesses, and impede private sector investment and job creation."
But economists told The Huffington Post that regulation has had a minimal impact on the unemployment rate. Their claim is backed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which shows that just under 16,000 jobs, or 0.4 percent, were lost because of "government regulations/intervention."
"It's just hard to believe that the paperwork requirements to starting a business represent a major impediment to starting businesses right now," Burtless said. "That's not why we had lots more business creation in the late '90s."
Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, warned that any potential job creation from environmental deregulation could be offset by health concerns.
"If you increase employment but you have a lot more sick people, you have to ask yourself, 'What's the trade-off?'" he said. "The highest level of GDP is not necessarily the highest level of national satisfaction or national health."
Indeed, environmental advocates argue that many of the GOP proposals are more likely to kill people than create jobs.
"It won't save them jobs, it won't even save them that much money, but it is going to cause illnesses, deaths, more hospital stays or days lost because of illness,” said Scott Slesinger, legislative director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “That's why we have all these environmental laws.”
Not all of the GOP proposals are focused on environmental deregulation. A handful call for weakening the authority of the National Labor Relations Board as a way to boost businesses' savings, which could, in theory, then be reinvested in new jobs.
But Burtless said those proposals are more likely to impact those currently working than those seeking work.
"They may weaken the ability of current workers to negotiate for better working conditions or wages. They may lessen the ability of workers who want to join unions to do so in companies that are currently unorganized," he said. "But it's just hard to believe that they create jobs in the short run."
Even one of the more popular bills in the mix -- a small business tax cut -- won't do much for job creation, some of the economists said. They argued that it's not that businesses need more money for hiring, but that they need a sufficient demand for their products.
"They know that if they hire people to produce more widgets, they won't be able to sell the widgets," Prakken said. "Giving them a tax break just increases their profits," but doesn't encourage hiring.
Riccadonna disagreed. He acknowledged that weak demand is the biggest problem facing businesses, but said the small business tax cut is still the most likely of all the GOP bills to create jobs.
"We should be focusing on small businesses and what we can do to make business conditions more favorable for them, because that's where the real turn in labor market will lie," he said. "So anything that makes life or operating conditions a little bit easier for them, that I would certainly be in favor of. That will have a meaningful jobs impact."
Ultimately, each economist was clear on one point: The GOP package is far more political than practical.
"It's game playing to try to pretend like they're doing something," said Jesse Rothstein, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley. "It's silly season, and so they know they have to put up something that has the label 'job creation' on it, whether or not it would work."
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel demurred when asked for a response. He reiterated that Senate Democrats are holding up their job-creation bills.
"The House has passed more than 30 jobs bills that are awaiting action in the Democrat-controlled United States Senate," said Steel. "We have passed a responsible budget that deals with our deficits and debt, a bill to replace the 'sequester,' which would be disastrous for our national security, and ... we will vote to stop the tax hike on every American taxpayer, which is scheduled for the end of this year. In short, we are acting on the American peoples’ priorities: jobs and our economy."
A Cantor spokeswoman did not return a request for comment.
For all their complaints about Senate inaction, Boehner and Cantor regularly fail to point out that the Senate has, in fact, passed nearly a dozen of Republicans' so-called jobs bills in the last two years. Eleven have already become law, and another one has passed the Senate but hasn’t been signed into law yet.
Jennifer Bendery and Michael McAuliff contributed reporting to this article.
House Republicans routinely herald the hard work they have done in passing the 30-some "jobs bills" in the slideshow below, while they antagonize the Senate for its failure to act on the measures. But economists warn that the House-passed bills won't do much to create jobs -- which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says is the explanation for why the bills have stalled.
H.R. 872 -- Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr872rs/pdf/BILLS-112hr872rs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill amends two major environmental regulatory laws</a> -- the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act and the Clean Water Act --to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from requiring permits for polluting activities in water. Republicans <a href="http://transportation.house.gov/News/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=1183" target="_hplink">say</a> the bill will eliminate regulatory overlap, cutting companies' costs that can then be translated into job growth. "This bill prevents states and a wide range of public and private pesticide users from facing duplicative, unnecessary financial and administrative burdens in order to comply with the new permitting process," Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), who sponsored the bill, said in March 2011. Opponents of the bill, including the National Resource Defense Council, <a href="http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/mwu/some_republicans_are_taking_ad.html" target="_hplink">caution</a> that the bill guts helpful regulations. Some economists say the bill's emphasis on environmental deregulation is unlikely to make a dent in unemployment numbers. "There's no way that if you start mucking around with the Clean Air Act ... that in six months you're going to have a huge impact on unemployment," said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers.
H.R. 910 -- Energy Tax Prevention Act
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr910rfs/pdf/BILLS-112hr910rfs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill would amend the Clean Air Act</a> to prevent the EPA from issuing greenhouse gas regulations to address climate change. <a href="http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/1/hr910" target="_hplink">Supporters of the bill say</a> EPA regulations are costly and ineffective in addressing climate change. <a href="http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/paltman/diverse_opposition_to_hr_910.html" target="_hplink">Opponents say</a> the bill strips away important Clean Air Act protections by allowing corporations to dump unlimited carbon pollution. The American Public Health Association and the Consumer's Union are among those who oppose the bill.
H.J. Res. 37 -- Disapproval of FCC's Net Neutrality Regulations
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hjres37pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hjres37pcs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill revokes a Federal Communications Commission rule</a> that prohibits Internet service providers from deliberately slowing or blocking certain websites because of concerns about bandwidth. Supporters, which include Democrats, say the regulation is not needed to maintain a free and open Internet. They caution that the existing rule will jeopardize jobs at Internet companies. The Obama administration <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CFYQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.whitehouse.gov%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fomb%2Flegislative%2Fsap%2F112%2Fsaphjr37r_20110404.pdf&ei=kegCUNPjAaL66QHe-dmHBw&usg=AFQjCNF9ik1ve_IQVAT9kacXi53Uc9vJKw" target="_hplink">opposes the bill</a>, arguing that it would "raise questions as to whether innovation on the Internet will be allowed to flourish, consumers will be protected from abuses, and the democratic spirit of the Internet will remain intact." Jesse Rothstein, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, told The Huffington Post that the bill is "completely irrelevant to job creation."
H.R. 2018 -- Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr2018pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hr2018pcs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill essentially guts the Clean Water Act</a>, preventing the EPA from regulating nearly everything it was originally intended to regulate and drastically reducing the agency's role in environmental oversight. Supporters of the bill say that the EPA has overstepped its bounds in implementing the Clean Water Act, infringing on states' rights to regulate their waters. "The EPA's actions have created an atmosphere of regulatory uncertainty for the regulated community, and have had a chilling effect on the Nation's economy and job creation," reads a <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/?&sid=cp112Qvspe&r_n=hr139.112&dbname=cp112&&sel=TOC_8855&" target="_hplink">report</a> from the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. <a href="http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dbeckman/epa_tells_it_like_it_is_on_hr.html" target="_hplink">According to the EPA</a>, however, "the bill would overturn almost 40 years of federal legislation by preventing EPA from protecting public health and water quality." Critics say the legislation is an attempt to role back key environmental protections. "This legislation turns back the clock to a time when the Cuyahoga River was on fire, where there were oil spills all across California beaches and the majority of our drinking water was unfit to drink," <a href="http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2011/house-t-i-committee-passes-legislation-disabling-clean-water-act" target="_hplink">reads an Earthjustice release</a>.
H.R. 1315 -- Consumer Financial Protection & Soundness Improvement Act
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1315rfs/pdf/BILLS-112hr1315rfs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill would strip the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of its director</a> and replace it with a five-person commission. The move would make it easier to overturn CFPB regulations. <a href="http://duffy.house.gov/press-release/duffy-bill-would-increase-consumer-protection-accountability-and-oversight" target="_hplink">Supporters say</a> the bill is necessary to increase oversight of the new agency, but <a href="http://www.democraticleader.gov/floor?id=0446" target="_hplink">opponents warn</a> that putting oversight in the hands of those who require oversight themselves could encourage corruption. They also say the bill will delay and defund parts of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a law that Republicans fought hard to block. Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, said the bill doesn't do anything for job creation: "It will bring an environment that is less certain in the near term, if you make that change. And that is not conducive to job growth."
H.R. 2587 -- Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr2587pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hr2587pcs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill revokes the ability of the National Labor Relations Board</a> to stop companies from eliminating work if employees form a union. <a href="http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/1/hr2587" target="_hplink">Supporters say</a> the NLRB misuses its current power to force companies to relocate their business, which threatens job growth in areas of the country where labor laws are less strict. Opponents say the bill would allow companies to retaliate against workers who want to unionize by eliminating their jobs or forcing them to accept poor conditions. H.R. 2587 removes "the only meaningful remedy available to workers" in such situations, <a href="http://www.nclnet.org/newsroom/press-releases/544-ncl-denounces-hr-2587-which-would-eliminate-key-worker-protections-legalize-retaliation-against-workers-for-exercising-their-rights" target="_hplink">according to the National Consumers League</a>. Gary Burtless, an economist at The Brookings Institution, said bills that seek to weaken the NLRB will do little to create new jobs. "They may weaken the ability of current workers to negotiate for better working conditions or wages, they may lessen the ability of workers who want to join unions to do so in companies that currently are unorganized, but it's just hard to believe that they create jobs in the short run," he said.
H.R. 2401 -- Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on The Nation
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr2401rfs/pdf/BILLS-112hr2401rfs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill sets up a commission to analyze the impact of EPA rules and regulations</a>. A controversial amendment to the bill also forbids the EPA from reinstating two regulatory statutes governing air toxicity for more than a year. The amendment could permanently block both regulations. <a href="http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/1/hr2401" target="_hplink">Supporters say</a> the bill will allow the government and the public to "better understand how these policies affect American manufacturing, global competitiveness, energy prices, and jobs." Opponents say the commission would be biased, since they wouldn't be measuring regulations based on health or environmental impacts. <a href="http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jwalke/oppose_train_act_the_worst_air.html" target="_hplink">According to the Natural Resources Defense Council</a>, the bill's 15-month delay on air toxicity regulations would result in up to 33,450 premature deaths.
H.R. 2681 -- Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act
This <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr2681pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hr2681pcs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill eliminates rules and regulations</a> that prevent the cement industry from polluting the air and disposing of waste. <a href="http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/1/hr2681" target="_hplink">Supporters say</a> the cement industry is burdened by undue regulations, arguing that the bill would free up time and resources for the industry to create jobs. They also allege high costs of compliance. Opponents say the legislation would take a devastating toll on public health. "This cement bill would lead to thousands of deaths, illness and missed school and work days every year. It also would prevent the estimated 1,300 jobs the rule would create. This is the opposite of a jobs bill," <a href="http://www.nrdc.org/media/2011/111006.asp" target="_hplink">said John Walke</a> of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
H.R. 2250 -- EPA Regulatory Relief Act
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr2250pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hr2250pcs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill nullifies rules and regulations</a> ensuring that cement plants, incinerators and industrial boilers properly dispose of hazardous waste and don't cause pollution. Supporters say current regulations are "exceedingly complex and unduly onerous," saying they have a negative impact on hospitals, universities, factories and other employers with boilers. "The precise cost of these stringent rules may still be unknown, but they will undoubtedly impose significant new regulatory costs on employers and small businesses that could lead to factory closures and job losses," <a href="http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/1/hr2250" target="_hplink">reads a statement</a> from the GOP. Opponents say the rules are necessary to keep mercury, arsenic, lead and cancer-causing toxins out of the air and water. The bill would "weaken the Clean Air Act and overturn multiple federal court decisions to gut strong toxic air pollution standards that, under current law, must be applied to achieve deep cuts in dangerous mercury, lead, dioxins and acid gases from these facilities," <a href="http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jwalke/house_bills_blocking_safeguard.html" target="_hplink">according to the Natural Resources Defense Council</a>.
H.R. 2273 -- Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr2273pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hr2273pcs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill eliminates waste disposal standards and requirements for coal ash</a>, the heavy metal-laced remnants of coal burned by power plants. Supporters of the bill say that EPA rules governing coal ash are burdensome, and cite ways in which coal ash can be recycled into other products, stimulating other industries as well as the coal industry. But <a href="http://www.nrdc.org/media/2011/111014.asp" target="_hplink">opponents say</a> the bill will have a disastrous impact on public health since the contaminants in the material can cause bladder, kidney, liver, lung, prostate and skin cancer. The EPA identified 67 coal and oil ash dump sites that have already contaminated groundwater and wells, <a href="http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/fbeinecke/anti-government_rhetoric_in_th.html" target="_hplink">according to the Natural Resources Defense Council</a>.
H.R. 3094 -- Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr3094pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hr3094pcs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill</a> significantly restricts the ability of the National Labor Relations Board to ensure that workers can form unions. It would prohibit a pre-election hearing from taking place less than 14 calendar days after a petition for an election has been filed, and would establish a minimum and maximum time by which a firm must take action if a group moves to hold union elections. <a href="http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/1/hr3094" target="_hplink">Supporters argue</a> the bill will allow workers more time to consider joining a union, and give employers more time to present their legal case to the NLRB. But <a href="http://www.nea.org/home/49874.htm" target="_hplink">opponents say</a> the delay tactics could effectively eliminate collective bargaining rights by allowing employers to indefinitely delay union elections, which gives companies more leeway to hire union-busting companies or otherwise harass employees.
H.R. 3010 -- Regulatory Accountability Act
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr3010rfs/pdf/BILLS-112hr3010rfs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill</a> revises the way federal agencies can issue rules and regulations. Supporters say the reform is necessary to ensure regulatory agencies are performing their tasks. "The Regulatory Accountability Act makes the regulatory process more transparent, agencies more accountable and regulations more cost-effective," <a href="http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/1/hr3010" target="_hplink">reads a GOP statement</a> on the bill. Opponents say the new regulatory framework is burdensome, repetitive and dense. They also warn the bill would impede the implementation of protections and create needless regulatory and legal uncertainty, as well as increase costs for businesses, <a href="http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=97328" target="_hplink">according to the Obama administration</a>, which opposes the bill.
H.R. 527 -- Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr527rfs/pdf/BILLS-112hr527rfs.pdf" target="_hplink">bil requires federal agencies to analyze the cost of any new regulations on small businesses</a> before they can be implemented. Supporters say the bill will ensure that agencies and the public know the exact cost of proposed measures. It will "enable agencies to find less costly and more beneficial ways to achieve their regulatory objectives," <a href="http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/1/hr527" target="_hplink">reads a GOP statement</a>. Opponents say the bill will create uncertainty concerning regulations and could invite frivolous litigation. It "would impose unneeded and costly analytical and procedural requirements on agencies that would prevent them from performing their statutory responsibilities," <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CE0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.whitehouse.gov%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fomb%2Flegislative%2Fsap%2F112%2Fsaphr527r_20111129.pdf&ei=MkXrT4iGM6-r0AGYmqHZBQ&usg=AFQjCNGjzivoZfvOOpV0JtbcAVoNv07lCw" target="_hplink">according to a statement</a> from the Obama administration, which opposes the bill.
H.R. 10 -- REINS Act
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr10rfs/pdf/BILLS-112hr10rfs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill</a> requires congressional approval for any new regulation from a federal agency. Supporters say the bill would increase oversight and prevent unnecessary regulations from hampering business. "Excessive federal regulation is a de facto tax on employers and consumers that stifles job creation, hampers innovation, and postpones investment in the economy," reads the House Republican <a href="http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/1/hr10" target="_hplink">website</a>. Opponents say the bill has the potential to turn careful considerations into a political circus. "Either chamber of Congress--or even a single senator--could effectively overturn a law by refusing to approve critical rules of implementation for entirely political reasons," reads a Center for American Progress <a href="http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/12/reins_act.html" target="_hplink">statement</a>. Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, said the bill is one-sided. "This notion that you need to subject any new regulations to a cost-benefit analysis before you go ahead with them ... you have to ask yourself, 'How come they aren't saying, if we're going to deregulate something, we do the cost-benefit analysis of deregulating?' Maybe the costs of that are really high in terms of health outcomes," he said.
H.R. 1633 -- Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1633pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hr1633pcs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill prohibits the EPA from tightening standards for coarse particles</a> and forbids the agency from enforcing any regulation concerning coarse particles for a year. <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/?&sid=cp112fLtfJ&r_n=hr316.112&dbname=cp112&&sel=TOC_6887&" target="_hplink">Supporters say</a> the bill would provide greater flexibility to states to manage dust in rural parts of the nation. But <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CFQQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.whitehouse.gov%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fomb%2Flegislative%2Fsap%2F112%2Fsaphr1633r_20111207.pdf&ei=UUrrT-DeN6Xt0gHYu7HZBQ&usg=AFQjCNENYFF8lSzC9P34ODeID7DV-i6lBQ" target="_hplink">opponents argue</a> the bill will introduce high levels of regulatory uncertainty relating to emission control requirements. By adding and exempting a new class of air pollutants, imprecisely called "nuisance dust," the bill could be used to roll back existing pollution limits, they say.
H.R. 1837 -- Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1837pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hr1837pcs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill nullifies substantial regulations on water control and fishing</a> in the San Francisco Bay region of California. The <a href="http://nunes.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=252231" target="_hplink">bill's sponsor said</a> it would improve upon existing policy, which he said has had a detrimental impact on the delta ecosystem. Opponents, however, <a href="http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/bnelson/water_rights_hot_potato_and_hr.html" target="_hplink">say the bill</a> will destroy the delta ecosystem, lift protections for salmon and other listed species, and reduce funding for environmental restoration projects. They say it would also allow dam contractors to skirt federal environmental regulations.
H.R. 2087 -- Land in Accomack County, Virginia
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr2087rfs/pdf/BILLS-112hr2087rfs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill would lift deed restrictions on a piece of land in Virginia</a>, allowing it to be sold to a technology park interested in developing the area. Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), who sponsored the bill, <a href="http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/217065-house-advances-virginia-land-use-bill-over-dem-objections" target="_hplink">said</a> it would help create jobs. But Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) said the bill would do little to assuage growing unemployment, <a href="http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/217065-house-advances-virginia-land-use-bill-over-dem-objections" target="_hplink">calling it</a> an "$800,000 earmark to benefit a single county in a single state."
H.R. 9 -- Small Business Tax Cut Act
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr9rfs/pdf/BILLS-112hr9rfs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill</a> would give a tax cut to any company with fewer than 500 employees. Those companies could deduct 20 percent of their income in 2012, provided that the deduction does not exceed half of the cash wages paid to employees. Supporters say it will drastically reduce the tax burden for small businesses, allowing them to create jobs with extra resources. "Current marginal tax rates mean that small businesses are faced with enormous burdens that are sapping capital, resources and time. Irrespective of whether they pay taxes at the corporate or individual level, small businesses can face up to a 35% federal tax rate," reads the House Republican <a href="http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/2/hr9" target="_hplink">website</a>. Opponents say the bill favors certain small businesses over others. "Many of the 'small businesses' that would receive the largest tax breaks are law partners, consultants, and other wealthy individuals and corporations with the biggest profits," <a href="http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=100531" target="_hplink">reads an Obama administration statement</a> on the bill. "The proposal is a giveaway that will cost $46 billion and could, in fact, lead to delays and reductions in investment and hiring."
H.R. 1904 -- Southeast Arizona Resource Utilization & Conservation Act
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1904rfs/pdf/BILLS-112hr1904rfs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill directs the Department of Agriculture to sell two areas of land</a> in Arizona to two large mining companies. <a href="http://gosar.house.gov/press-release/gosar-jobs-bill-hr-1904-passes-floor-us-house-representatives" target="_hplink">Supporters say</a> the bill will encourage substantial job growth in the area. But opponents like the <a href="http://www.azminingreform.org/sites/default/files/docs/Problems with HR 1904.pdf" target="_hplink">Arizona Mining Reform Coalition say</a> the mining companies could hurt local Native American tribes and other community members. Macroeconomic Advisers economist Joel Prakken singled out bills that call for more offshore oil and gas drilling as an example of something that won't create many jobs. "If you change some offshore drilling regulations, or whatever they're talking about, it might be important in that little sliver of the economy, but that's a pretty little sliver," he said. "It's just not going to have a very big effect very quickly." Brookings economist Gary Burtless agreed, noting that mining and drilling industries are already growing "rapidly" under current regulations.
H.R. 1230 -- Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1230rh/pdf/BILLS-112hr1230rh.pdf" target="_hplink">bill would direct the Department of Interior to conduct several planned lease sales</a> within a few months after the enactment of the bill. Supporters say the lease sales have been put off for too long, delaying their job-creating potential. "H.R. 1230 expands American energy production, creates jobs and generates revenue for taxpayers," according to the House Republican <a href="http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/1/hr1230" target="_hplink">website</a>. But opponents see the bill as an "excuse to grant enormous, multinational energy companies access to the Gulf with less oversight," according to a <a href="http://www.democraticleader.gov/floor?id=0433" target="_hplink">press release from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi</a>. It rushes "lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico with unreasonable time limits and without proper environmental review," for sales that are already planned within the year.
H.R. 1229 -- Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act
This <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1229pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hr1229pcs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill directs the Interior Department to conduct planned lease sales more rapidly</a>. It also requires the Interior Secretary to approve or deny drilling permits within 30 days of their application, and automatically approves permits that have not been decided within 60 days. Supporters say the bill will stimulate an industry that suffered following the 2010 oil spill at Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, reinstating the estimated 12,000 jobs lost during the subsequent moratorium. But <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=14&ved=0CFAQFjADOAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nrdc.org%2Flegislation%2Ffiles%2Frejecthastingsbills.pdf&ei=oFvrT8GTLqrD0QGuzOzdBQ&usg=AFQjCNHFYTWc5eWZG16uPumW8Qg9iXeRTQ" target="_hplink">opponents warn that rushing complicated investigations</a> could threaten public safety. Referring to this and several other bills as the "B.P. Oil Disaster Amnesia Bills," they caution that such legislation would only exacerbate problems of inadequate oversight.
H.R. 1231 -- Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act
Like H.R. 1229 and H.R. 1230, this <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1231pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hr1231pcs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill directs the Interior Department to conduct lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico</a>. The bill also requires a doubling of offshore oil production in the next 15 years. Supporters say the bill will create private sector jobs in the oil industry and reduce American dependence on foreign oil. <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CFEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nrdc.org%2Flegislation%2Ffiles%2Frejecthastingsbills.pdf&ei=2EEDULHCMsnn0QHxmNilBw&usg=AFQjCNHFYTWc5eWZG16uPumW8Qg9iXeRTQ" target="_hplink">Opponents decry</a> the bill as an earmark for big oil, noting that several industries could be negatively impacted by the legislation. Many economists say that while more drilling does mean some jobs, it does not mean lower gas prices, because oil is sold on the international market and the United States doesn't have enough oil to make much <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/06/more-us-oil-drilling-wont-help-gas-prices_n_858473.html" target="_hplink">impact on prices</a>.
H.R. 2021 -- Jobs and Energy Permitting Act of 2011
This <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr2021pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hr2021pcs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill would restrict provisions in the Clear Air Act</a> that relate to environmental impact studies, minimizing the area the studies would need to consider. Supporters say the bill will increase the production of American-made energy, which would bring down costs and create jobs, according to <a href="http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/1/hr2021" target="_hplink">the House GOP website</a>. Opponents say the bill would increase pollution and damage air quality in coastal states like California and Delaware, and would have a negative impact on more than 20 states and territories, <a href="http://www.democraticleader.gov/floor?id=0440" target="_hplink">according to a statement</a> from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
H.R. 1938 -- North American-Made Energy Security Act
This <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1938pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hr1938pcs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill would expedite a decision on TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline</a>. Supporters tout the pipeline's job-creating effects and applaud the reduction in oil prices they say would result from the larger pipeline. Opponents caution that TransCanada's track record with public health and safety means there needs to be a longer review of the permit and its environmental impact. "Nothing will be gained by rushing another tar sands pipeline, but much can be lost in terms of the health and welfare of communities that depend on the rivers and aquifers along the pipeline's path," reads the <a href="http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/sclefkowitz/" target="_hplink">blog of an Natural Resources Defense Council environmental advocate</a>. Jesse Rothstein, a UC Berkeley economics professor, said a rushed decision on the pipeline was the reason why Obama failed to grant a permit the first time around. He said Republicans should stop playing politics and let the administration review the proposal. "They gave a deadline that was impossible to meet and that basically forced the administration to not approve it," he said. "Had they not tried to play games with it, it might well have been approved and started being built. My sense is that it reduced job creation, not helped it." Other outside analysts say the project would create jobs, but far fewer jobs than proponents claim.
H.R. 2842 -- Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr2842rfs/pdf/BILLS-112hr2842rfs.pdf" target="_hplink">act itself, which allows for further development of small conduit hydropower</a>, is largely uncontroversial. The sticking point is an amendment that waives compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act for all small hydro projects. Supporters of the bill <a href="http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/2/hr2842" target="_hplink">say NEPA compliance for small conduits hydropower is burdensome</a> and hampers development. Opponents <a href="http://napolitano.house.gov/press-release/rep-napolitano-opposes-environmental-overrides-hydropower-bill" target="_hplink">argue that blanket exemptions aren't necessary</a> to encourage growth. Existing environmental laws maintain and ensure public health and safety.
H.R. 2578 -- Conservation and Economic Growth Act
This <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr2578rfs/pdf/BILLS-112hr2578rfs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill would remove restrictions on a section of river in California</a> by ending its status as a "scenic river." It also weakens existing environmental protections. The bill's sponsor, <a href="http://denham.house.gov/press-release/house-consider-denham-legislation-part-natural-resources-jobs-and-public-lands-package" target="_hplink">Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), touts</a> the bill for increasing water storage, which he says will create jobs. Opponents say the bill threatens land stewardship and resource protection. "H.R. 2578 contains a number of provisions that would undermine the responsible balance of interests and considerations in the stewardship of the nation's lands and natural resources," the Obama administration said in a <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CFUQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.whitehouse.gov%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fomb%2Flegislative%2Fsap%2F112%2Fsaphr2578r_20120618.pdf&ei=qWHrT4yGMqa-0AHL1_3BBQ&usg=AFQjCNH43Hf9ThAmrU6bTQKQGu_t13Odmw" target="_hplink">statement</a>. It further suggests that various provisions would disregard and short-change public input on a range of community interests, including natural resource protections, and preclude agencies from considering less environmentally detrimental alternatives.
H.R. 4480 -- Domestic Energy and Jobs Act
This <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr4480rfs/pdf/BILLS-112hr4480rfs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill would require the Energy Department</a> to increase the percentage of federal lands leased for oil and gas production. Currently, 3 percent of federal lands are leased for such uses. <a href="http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/2/hr4480" target="_hplink">Supporters say</a> it would help reduce rising gas prices and create jobs. <a href="http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?q=page/summary-of-hr-4480" target="_hplink">Opponents warn</a> that the bill would undermine energy security and make energy production increasingly unsafe. It also substantially threatens public health and encourages polluting activities. The bill would "discourage environmental analysis and civic engagement in Federal decision-making, and impede progress on important Clean Air Act (CAA) rules to protect the health of American families," <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CFEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.whitehouse.gov%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fomb%2Flegislative%2Fsap%2F112%2Fsaphr4480r_20120619.pdf&ei=nlEDUNr5Mqau6gGIhaDnBg&usg=AFQjCNEPm2QTMUvlkWMVgyPDxidCCTq4rg" target="_hplink">according to a statement</a> from the Obama administration, which opposes the bill.
H.R. 436 -- Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012
This <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr436pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hr436pcs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill would repeal a 2.3 percent tax in the health reform law</a> on medical devices and allow consumers to use health-related spending accounts to purchase over-the-counter medicine. <a href="http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/2/hr436" target="_hplink">Supporters argue</a> that the tax repeal will save jobs in the medical device industry and keep taxpayers from losing funds if they fail to spend them within a year. Obama points out that the tax exists for a reason. "This excise tax is one of several designed so that industries that gain from the coverage expansion [in the Affordable Care Act] will help offset the cost of that expansion. ... H.R. 436 would fund tax breaks for industry by raising taxes on middle-class and low-income families," he <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/112/saphr436r_20120606.pdf" target="_hplink">said in a statement</a>.
H.R. 4402 -- National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2012
This <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr4402rfs/pdf/BILLS-112hr4402rfs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill would expedite the approval of mineral exploration</a> and change the way mining projects are defined to expedite the permit process. <a href="http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/2/hr4402" target="_hplink">Supporters say</a> it takes an average of seven years to acquire mining permits and if the process were sped up, the mining industry could introduce new money into the economy. <a href="http://www.nrdc.org/media/2012/120712.asp" target="_hplink">Opponents say</a> the bill would allow mining companies to use public lands and to cloak their activities from the public view. "The legislation amounts to the worst kind of industry hand-out. It would give away valuable public lands to an industry that already enjoys royalty-free mining -- at taxpayer expense," Scott Slesinger of the Natural Resources Defense Council said in a statement. "It also gives mining companies free access to public lands, putting their rights above those of all other users, including recreational users." Gary Burtless, a Brookings Institution economist, said the bill could grow the mining industry but that that sector is one of the smallest in the country. It's also an industry that's already growing without the deregulation, he said.
H.R. 2560 -- Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011
The <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr2560pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hr2560pcs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill would limit discretionary budget authority</a> to $1.019 trillion in 2012 and require a Constitutional amendment to balance the budget. <a href="http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/1/hr2560" target="_hplink">Supporters say</a> the bill represents a commitment to lowering the national debt, which they say hampers job growth. <a href="http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=90635" target="_hplink">Opponents called</a> the legislation an "empty political move." Indeed, it was abandoned in a 2001 deal cut by Congress to raise the debt limit, and in Dec. 2011, the Senate <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/story/2011-12-14/senate-balanced-budget-amendment-votes/51914134/1" target="_hplink">voted down</a> the proposed Constitutional amendment.
H.Con.Res. 34 -- Budget for Fiscal Year 2012
The controversial <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hconres34pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hconres34pcs.pdf" target="_hplink">budget plan</a> proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would sharply cut domestic programs, privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and transform Medicare into a voucher-like program. <a href="http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/228475-rep-ryan-says-his-budget-plan-would-prevent-need-for-austerity-measures" target="_hplink">Republicans say</a> the budget is necessary to reduce borrowing and create the necessary "certainty for investors" so the U.S. won't experience a European-style debt crisis. <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/paul-ryans-budget-proposal-passes-house-democrats-medicare/story?id=13384520#.UAcGSXB5nZw" target="_hplink">Democrats say</a> the budget proposal would effectively gut Medicare and not create jobs. House Republicans maintain the bill is stuck in the Senate, but the upper chamber very clearly took action on the plan and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/16/house-gop-budget-plan-senate_n_1522393.html" target="_hplink">rejected an effort</a> to move forward with the bill, by a vote of 58 to 41 on May 16, 2012. It required 60 votes to move forward with the bill.
H.Con.Res. 112 -- Budget for Fiscal Year 2013
Though this <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hconres112pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hconres112pcs.pdf" target="_hplink">bill</a> mirrors the controversial budget plan from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in 2011, House Republicans tout this 2012 version as another of their jobs bills. And just like Ryan's previous budget bill, the GOP says this measure is "stalled in the Senate." But the Senate very clearly <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/16/house-gop-budget-plan-senate_n_1522393.html" target="_hplink">voted down</a> an effort to move the bill forward by a vote of 58 to 41 on May 16, 2012. It required 60 votes to move forward with the bill.