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Challenging President Obama to Back House-Passed Energy Bills

Speaker Boehner: “Today I’m challenging President Obama to make good on his rhetoric and urge the Senate to allow a vote on bipartisan, House-passed energy bills. Let’s seize on our own common ground and move forward on a path to a real ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy.”

 In the Weekly Republican Address, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) challenges President Obama to press for Senate action on bipartisan, House-passed energy bills.  All of these bills have passed with bipartisan support, and many are backed by the president’s own jobs council.  The address caps off a week that saw passage of the GOP’s “Path to Prosperity” budget and a 90-day transportation bill extension that Democrats initially vowed to oppose, as well as the launch of the next phase of the American Energy Initiative.

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One of the biggest challenges facing hardworking taxpayers right now is the pain at the pump.  Rising gas prices wreak all kinds of havoc on cash-strapped families, especially in this time when many are still asking 'where are the jobs?'  Going back to my days running a small business, I’ve heard plenty of politicians say they’ll do something about energy, but never follow up.  This has to change.

The Republican-led House is acting, approving a budget this week that removes government barriers to job creation… including policies that block American energy production and drive up gas prices.  This budget now heads to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where it faces an uncertain fate.  You see, the Senate hasn’t passed a budget in more than 1,000 days, a failure of leadership that has contributed to Washington’s ‘stimulus’ spending binge.

The budget, I’m sorry to say, is just the tip of the iceberg.  The Senate has stalled dozens of House-passed bills, several of which would implement the Republicans’ ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy to address rising gas prices and help create jobs.   All of these energy bills passed with bipartisan support.  Many are backed by the president’s own jobs council.

About a month ago, during a meeting at the White House, I asked President Obama to consider working with us on these proposals in light of his newfound support for an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy.  The president, who has seen gas prices more than double on his watch, assured leaders in Congress there was room for common ground.  It was a new sign of hope, but unfortunately, only a brief one. 

In the weeks since our discussion, President Obama hasn’t spoken up about these bipartisan, House-passed energy bills, and gas prices continue to rise.  

About the only thing the president has pushed the Senate to do is to prevent construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a job-creating project that the American people strongly support.  He personally lobbied Senate Democrats before the vote … and that may have made the difference.  He also successfully urged Senate Democrats to take up energy tax legislation that won’t lower the price of gas, and according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, would actually make it more expensive.  Clearly the president has some sway over Senate Democrats.  

So today I’m challenging President Obama to make good on his rhetoric and urge the Senate to allow a vote on bipartisan, House-passed energy bills.  Let’s seize on our common ground and move forward on a path to a real ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy. 

In the meantime, the House will continue to act.  This week, Republicans launched the next phase of our American Energy Initiative focused on addressing rising gas prices.  This phase includes proposals, for example, to responsibly increase energy production on federal lands and freeze new refinery regulations that will hurt our economy.  The pain at the pump is an urgent issue for hardworking taxpayers and it deserves the same urgency from leaders here in Washington.  The House is doing its part, but we can do a whole lot more if President Obama steps up and heeds the will of the American people.

Thanks for listening.