Friday, October 30, 2009

How Many jobs Did the Stimulus Create or Save?

President Obama said that his stimulus bill would save or create close to 3,000,000 jobs. The Administration has already said that hundreds of thousands of jobs have been saved. However, the President's stimulus report card released this week tells another, more telling story. The number of jobs the President claims to have been saved has been grossly overestimated. Even CBS news couldn't resist to point out that the Administration's figures weren't "worth the paper they are written on."

And of the thousands of jobs promised to be created in Pennsylvania through the stimulus? Only 43 were created for the 9th district according to

Shuster Statement on Speaker Pelosi's Latest Healthcare Plan

“After weeks of meeting behind closed doors, House Democrat leaders today unveiled their most recent in a line of health care plans. This new plan is the product of months of secret negotiations and backroom deals. This plan was concocted without the transparency promised by President Obama or any Republican input.

Undoubtedly, the Democrats’ Pelosi Health Care Bill includes the same heavy handed government takeover of health care that will raise health care costs, add to our national debt, hurt seniors, small businesses and force families out of their current coverage.

Every American should have access to affordable, quality health care. Health care reform should include a more open health care market place creating competition and choice; reform that allows patients to be cared for by the doctor of their choice; and meaningful medical malpractice reform. These reforms can be implemented quickly, and have the greatest impact on driving down the cost of health care. These are common sense reforms which have bipartisan support, but the Pelosi Health Care bill contains none of these.

I believe we can accomplish this and fix what is broken in our health care system while keeping what works, and without forcing a nearly trillion dollar government takeover of nearly a sixth of our economy.”

Pelosi's Public Option Pep Rally

From the Washington Post:

Pelosi's public option pep rally
Pelosi's public option pep rally

By Dana Milbank
Friday, October 30, 2009

As Speaker Nancy Pelosi led her House Democrats down the Capitol steps Thursday morning for a health-care pep rally, the sound system began to crank out . . . wait, that's not U2's "Elevation," is it?

Alas, it was.

I need you to elevate me here

At the corner of your lips

At the orbit of your hips

Eclipse, you elevate my soul

I've lost all self control . . .

Okay, you can stop blushing now.

Whenever politicians stage pep rallies to roll out the details of a new policy, the proceedings should be taken with a grain of salt. But Thursday's effort by House Democrats came with six 50-lb bags of salt -- ice melting salt, to be specific, placed on the bases of the six U.S. flags on the stage to keep them from toppling over in the wind and marring the event with unwanted visuals and ruinous metaphors.

The Democrats' preparations were elaborate. They chose a spot, on the West Front of the Capitol, near where Newt Gingrich unveiled the Contract With America 15 years ago. They had red, white and blue, convention-style signs that, instead of displaying the names of states, offered messages such as "Expand Coverage" and "Strengthen Medicare." They shared the stage with about 30 "real people," flown in from around the country, who could tell tales of health-care woe. One Capitol police officer, claiming she was acting under instruction from Pelosi's office, even kept Republican staffers from entering the event.

But for all the precautions, policy pep rallies have a way of taking unwanted turns, and Thursday's did almost immediately after Pelosi stepped to the microphone. "Nancy Pelosi, you'll burn in hell for this," said a man's voice, amplified by a bullhorn, from about 50 yards away.

"Thank you, insurance companies of America," Pelosi replied to the heckler. Actually, they were anti-abortion protesters, and they were loud.

"In this legislation, we will immediately begin to close the doughnut hole," the speaker proclaimed.

"We won't pay for murder!" a heckler heckled.

"Prevention and wellness are an important part of this legislation," the speaker declared.

"We won't pay for murder!" a heckler repeated. Finally, police were able to silence the activists, who held a gruesome poster showing an aborted fetus and signs demanding "Kill the bill."

As legislators, Pelosi and her lieutenants did an impressive job putting together a health-care reform compromise that likely has enough support to pass. Her watered-down version of the "public option" -- leaving the government insurance plan to negotiate rates with providers rather than imposing Medicare rates -- meant that Thursday's rally included a few moderates from the "Blue Dog" coalition along with the party's liberals.

But Pelosi's legislative finesse was not matched by her skills as a pep rally organizer. Only about 80 House Democrats, roughly a third of the caucus, were on the stage on the cool and gray morning. The others, Pelosi tried to explain to the crowd, "are in hearings, because the work of Congress does not stop just because we have an important message to give to you."

Another possible reason for the sparse attendance: health care may be hugely important, but it's hard to get fired up about the nitty gritty of policy. "The uninsured will have access to a temporary insurance program -- we're calling it a high-risk pool -- from the date of enactment until the exchange is available!" Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn told the rally.

A small number of people, many of them paid staffers standing off to the side, offered polite applause for the high risk pool.

"From the date of enactment, we'll hinder price-gouging with sunshine requirements on insurance companies to disclose insurance rate increases!"

Light applause for rate increase sunshine requirements.

"From the date of enactment, COBRA health insurance coverage will be extended until the exchange is available and displaced workers can have affordable coverage!"

Modest ovation for temporary COBRA extension.

Speakers were told to limit themselves to a minute apiece, but no attention was paid to the rule, and by minute 50, the pep rally had lost whatever modest amount of pep it had at the start.

Still, there were moving moments, as when Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (Ohio) spoke of her battle with multiple sclerosis. And Rep. John Dingell (Mich), who succeeded his father in Congress in 1955, recalled the birth of Medicare in 1965.

"I did have the privilege of sitting in the chair when we passed Medicare," he said, and "I used this here gavel to preside over the House." The audience gave a cheer -- a hearty one, this time -- when he held up the instrument. "And I'm going to lend it to whoever it is who gets to preside over this legislation, because a good piece of wood doesn't wear out with one great event."

It was a powerful image. But then it was time for the lawmakers to walk back up the steps into the Capitol, and the sound system piped out another U2 song, "City of Blinding Lights," with another unhelpful message:

The more you see, the less you know

The less you find out as you go

I knew much more then than I do now

Republican Doctors Speak out on Healthcare

As the health care debate continues in Washington, we wanted to make sure that you had a chance to hear what the Doctors who serve in the United States Congress think of the issue. As medical professionals who have spent decades providing medical care to actual patients, they have real concerns about increasing the government's role.

The Public Option? Not so Public Actually

Yesterday, Republican Whip Eric Cantor made a good point on the House floor yesterday about Speaker Pelosi's lack of bipartisanship in the healthcare debate. Yesterday's press conference held by House Democrats which focused on a "public option" for health care wasn't exactly open to the public or Republicans.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Time for Choosing

45 years ago yesterday, Ronald Reagan delivered his famous "A Time for Choosing" speech. Here it is from President Reagan's Presidential Library:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Shuster Floor Speech on Healthcare Reform

Today, Congressman Shuster delivered a one minute speech on the House floor to talk about the dangers the Democrats' healthcare reform plans pose to our nation's seniors. The text of Shuster's speech follows:

Mr. Speaker,

Healthcare reform should empower all Americans to choose a health care plan that offers them choice and affordability.

However, the Democrat plan will only lead to higher taxes, cuts in benefits, and a government takeover of seniors health care.

For seniors on fixed incomes, the prospect of being forced to pay more for healthcare could become a frightening reality.

The Democrat plan would raise Medicare prescription drug premiums by 20 percent over the next decade and deny seniors the choice of keeping their current coverage.

The Democrat plan includes $163 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage. Up to 38,000 seniors in my district would be directly affected by these cuts.

Nothing should ever come between seniors and their doctors, yet that is exactly what the Democrats bill does.

The American people and our nations seniors deserve better than this reckless rush to reform.

I yield back the balance of my time.

House Democrats Philosophize While Unemployment Nears 10 Percent

Instead of dealing with high unemployment and a stifling debt, House Democrats have packed the House schedule with “filler” legislation including a bill to mark the birthday of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (H.Res.784).

“As unemployment hovers at 8.8 percent in Pennsylvania and inches closer to double digits nation-wide, House Democrats seem more comfortable celebrating the birth of Confucius than addressing our economic troubles,” Shuster said.

“Close to 3 million jobs have been lost since Democrats passed a stimulus bill that they promised would grow the economy and halt unemployment. Over the course of one year, our national debt load has grown by $1.42 trillion. These are unsustainable numbers that must be reversed by adopting policies that encourage private enterprise to grow, not the federal government.”

House Republicans are ready to do some serious work on the issues that matter to my constituents in Pennsylvania and Americans coast to coast,” Shuster added. “I, along with my Republican colleagues are ready for the debate. Will the Democrats listen?”

Monday, October 26, 2009

Unemployment numbers by state

NPR has an interactive map that shows state-by-state unemployment numbers for the nation. The interactive map can be viewed here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New GOP Conference Video - "Behind Closed Doors"

Cantor on the White House's battle with the media

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor appears today in National Review Online on the White House's battle with media organizations.

Debt and Deficits by the Numbers

Reposted from the House GOP Conference:

Almost one-year after Barack Obama was elected President and three years since Democrats took majorities in Congress, the Department of Treasury reports that under the Democrats’ control, 2009 was the worst fiscal year in the nation’s entire history. Democrats have abandoned their lofty promises to voters and continued their pattern of reckless spending and government expansion. The results have been historically disastrous.


$1.417 Trillion: The FY 2009 federal deficit, the highest amount ever and three times last year’s record-setting deficit of $458 billion.

10%: The 2009 deficit as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the highest since 1945, the last year of World War II. Since 1946, the deficit as a percentage of GDP had never topped 6 percent.

$9.050 Trillion: The combined amount of deficits the White House predicts over the next ten years under the President’s budget.

$739 Billion: The smallest annual deficit over the next ten years under the President’s budget.


$11.952 Trillion: The current national debt, including Treasury securities held by the government.

$38,840: The amount of the national debt owed by each man, woman, and child in the U.S.

$104,094: The share of the national debt owed by every household in the U.S.

$3.282 Trillion: The amount the national debt has increased since Democrats took control of Congress on January 4, 2007.

$1.325 Trillion: The amount the national debt has increased since President Obama was inaugurated just nine months ago, on January 20, 2009.

$199 Billion: The amount of money spent by the government to pay the interest on its debts in 2009.

$12.104 Trillion: The current limit on national debt, which was raised from $11.315 trillion for the “stimulus” bill and which Democrats now say must be raised yet again soon.

$24.498 Trillion: The total national debt in 2019 under the President’s budget, according to White House estimates.

Morning Must Reads

Wall Street Journal Editorial Board:

“Temporary Beltway Sanity” (The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board)

Yesterday saw some rare good news on the health-care front, with the stealth Democratic plan to move $247 billion in ObamaCare costs off the books collapsing in the Senate on a procedural vote of 47 to 53. Maybe there's more anxiety among Democrats about a huge permanent increase in government health spending than the White House is willing to let on.

A dozen Democrats (plus independent Joe Lieberman) voted against Majority Leader Harry Reid's gambit, which would have superseded automatic cuts in Medicare payments to doctors scheduled for 21% next year and higher after that. Democrats had included this fix as part of "comprehensive" reform but that pushed costs too high, while President Obama is insisting on a bill that doesn't increase the deficit on paper.

So Mr. Reid's inspiration was to decouple these payments from ObamaCare as stand-alone legislation, while hoping everyone ignored the phony budget math. The media did mostly ignore this subterfuge. But enough Republicans developed enough backbone that they spooked Democrats like North Dakota's Kent Conrad, who for once stood by their supposed deficit-hawk convictions. Notwithstanding the anesthetizing effect of Congress's now-routine trillion-dollar cost estimates, more than a few Democrats are still capable of sticker shock.

Mr. Reid said yesterday that he expects the Senate to "pick this up again" after it dispenses with ObamaCare, perhaps by correcting the doctor-payment formula for only two years at a cost of $24 billion. No doubt that too would be deficit-financed, though the new problem is that Democrats wouldn't be meeting the American Medical Association's price for backing ObamaCare.

The doctors lobby said in a statement that it was "deeply disappointed" by the vote, and that "Congress created the Medicare physician payment system, and Congress needs to fix this problem once and for all." If the AMA has any sense at all they'll see that they're being played for fools. (We recognize that this is a rhetorical "if.")

As for the Democrats who are worried about spending, or claim to be worried, we trust they understand that the entire premise of ObamaCare rests on automatic future spending cuts like the doctor payments that will never happen in practice, among other budget gimmicks. If they can't eat a mere $247 billion, then they shouldn't eat ObamaCare's other future trillions.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shuster meets with diplomatic delegation from Georgia

Today, Congressman Shuster met with David Bakradze, Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia and Batu Kutelia, Ambassador of Georgia in the U.S. to discuss current affairs and the strategic relationship between Georgia and the United States. Shuster, who serves as the co-chair of the House Georgia Caucus was joined by Melissa Cox Bosse, Shuster's military affairs aide; Misha Darchiashvili, Senior Counselor, Embassy of Georgia; Paata Davitaia, Vice-Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia (United Opposition; Levan Vepkhvadze, Vice-Speaker of the Georgian Parliament (Christian Democratic Party); and Nick Revazishvili, Counselor of the Embassy.

What is happening at the House Oversight and Reform Committee?

Facing a Republican demand for a vote on subpoenaing Bank of America for the records of the Countrywide VIP program, the Oversight and Government Committee Majority today met in private for more than thirty minutes and decided to abandon a scheduled 2 p.m. committee mark-up at 2:35 pm without appearing on the dais to formally convened the meeting. Republican members were forced to sit in the hearing room while Democrats mulled to position. While the Majority cited a conflict with a Financial Services Committee meeting for the after-the-fact cancellation explanation, numerous Democrats, including those on the Financial Services Committee, were captured on video leaving the Oversight Committee meeting space after the cancellation.

Worse, still it looks like the Chairmen actually ordered that the locks be changed the on the committee room door to punish Republican members for taping the hearing with a video camera, according to this article in The Hill.

The importance of small business in job growth

A great post about small business job creation over at the GOP Leader blog by Kevin Boland. Read it here, but first, here's a small part of the original post:

House Republicans recognize that the engine of job creation in America is small business, not government. That’s why two weeks ago, House Republicans sent President Obama and Speaker Pelosi a letter outlining six better solutions to create jobs:

  • Allow small businesses to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income.
  • Let small businesses join together to purchase health insurance for their workers the way large businesses and labor unions do.
  • Enact genuine legal reform and policies that incentivize wellness to reduce health care costs for small businesses.
  • Lower taxes for all taxpayers by reducing the current 15 percent rate to 10 percent and reducing the current 10 percent rate to 5 percent.
  • Expand health savings accounts (HSAs) to provide additional flexibility to small businesses in providing health care to their employees.
  • Increase the net operating loss carry back from 2 to 5 years to provide struggling employers with additional resources to keep their doors open.

Speaker Pelosi’s $1 trillion “stimulus” clearly isn’t working - and Democrats’ plans to tax entrepreneurs isn’t encouraging small businesses to create jobs. Government is by definition a bureaucratic and wasteful institution - it doesn’t possess the innovation and risk taking that exists in the private sector, which, when unleashed to its fullest potential, results in expanding businesses and new job creation.

The VAT Tax - The New Budget Gimmick

Speaker Pelosi continues to mention in interviews that she is open to the imposition to a European style VAT, or Value Added Tax to raise revenue to cover the cost of the Democrats' takeover of healthcare and increased deficit spending. But what is a VAT tax exactly and what would it mean for working Americans? The CATO Institute has a good video that explains how it works:

The GOP Leader blog has more information on the VAT here.

GOP Leader Op-ed in USA TODAY

GOP Leader Boehner: "We learned our lesson"

Republicans offer better solutions and a path to fiscal sanity.
By John Boehner

As I've stated before, Republicans lost our way on fiscal responsibility when we held the majority in Congress. Since then, we have held firm to our commitment to show the American people we learned our lesson by offering better solutions to hold the line on spending, rein in red ink and get the nation's fiscal house in order.

We offered an alternative economic recovery plan that, according to a formula used by one of President Obama's senior economic advisers, would have created twice the jobs at half the cost of the Democrats' trillion dollar "stimulus." We developed a budget that keeps spending under control without raising taxes by instituting a spending freeze for five years, exempting defense and veterans' benefits.

In stark contrast, the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress have gone on a spending spree the likes of which our nation has never seen.

In fact, the federal government ran up a budget deficit of $1.4 trillion during the past fiscal year, more than triple the size of the previous record high. This level of reckless spending is unfathomable to out-of-work families struggling to make ends meet, but it has become the status quo for out-of-touch Washington Democrats.

What's worse, this spending binge hasn't produced the jobs this administration promised. The "stimulus" has failed to keep unemployment from rising to near 10%, and roughly 3 million private sector jobs have been lost since it became law. Families are rightfully asking: "Where are the jobs?"

Now, even while operating on a budget that doubles the debt in five years and triples it in 10, Democrats are proposing a new round of spending — and borrowing — to make up for the "stimulus" that isn't working. This is on top of a trillion dollar government takeover of health care, a cap-and-trade national energy tax and other costly initiatives passed this year.

By continuing to spend money we don't have, Democrats are making matters worse for our economy, not better. It's time to start working together to ensure the American people have a government that lives within its means.

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, is the House minority leader.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Heathcare news update

From the Republican Whip's Daily Update:

Speaker Pelosi Declares The Moment Of Truth For The Public Option. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday told fellow Democrats the time has come for all members of the party to say where they stand on the government-run health insurance program. Pelosi informed her caucus that she will be asking which of the various public options members can support, or if they cannot support any at all. The Hill

However, Members And Leadership Aides Admit The Public Option Still Lacks The Necessary Votes In The House. Liberals and even some leadership aides suggest the speaker has about 200 votes for a public option tethered to Medicare — not the 218 she needs … “This is becoming a false choice,” said Utah Rep. Jim Matheson, an influential Democrat in the conservative Blue Dog Coalition. “I find it interesting how the discussion seems to be dominated by the public option, but I think there are other top-line issues that will be more important for how some members vote.” Politico

Senate Bill To Shield Doctors Would Add $240 Billion To Deficit. “It’s not fiscally responsible,” Mr. Bayh said. “I could not vote for a bill that raises the deficit by $240 billion, not at a time when we are already hemorrhaging red ink. The physicians’ issue needs to be addressed, but not in a way that increases the deficit.”Mr. Conrad, who is chairman of the Budget Committee, was furious at the possibility that Congress might adjust payment rates for doctors without offsetting the cost. “I don’t agree with just adding that amount to the debt,” Mr. Conrad said, adding, “I won’t vote for it.” The New York Times

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Congressional Budget Office Says Cap and Trade Would Slow U.S. Economy

An article in the Washington Post today reports CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf “testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that the cap-and-trade provisions of the House bill -- in which emitters of greenhouse gases would be able to buy and sell pollution credits -- would cut the nation's gross domestic product by 0.25 to 0.75 percent in 2020 compared with ‘what it would otherwise have been,’ and by 1 to 3.5 percent in 2050.”

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shuster-Holden Resolution Honoring Troops from the PA Guard and the 56th Stryker Passed by the House

Today, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.Res.754, a resolution introduced by Congressman Shuster and Congressman Tim Holden honoring the citizen soldiers of the Pennsylvania National Guard including the troops of the 56th Stryker who recently returned from Iraq.

“It is an honor to speak in favor of this resolution on the House floor and to have the support of the entire Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation,” Shuster said during debate on the resolution. “The men and women being honored today are not only brave soldiers; they are also our neighbors, friends, and relatives. Their mission in Iraq was vital to our national security and they served with honor and distinction.”

In November of last year, Shuster was joined by his Pennsylvania Congressional colleagues Rep. Tim Holden, Rep. Jim Gerlach, and Rep. Charlie Dent on a trip to visit the members of the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team while they were training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi and Fort Polk, Louisiana in preparation for their deployment to Iraq.

In June of this year, Shuster, along with Reps. Holden, Dent and Rep. Kathleen Dahlkemper, visited Iraq to meet with our deployed troops from Pennsylvania to personally thank them for their service. The Congressional Delegation met with the troops at Camp Liberty, outside of Baghdad, and in Taji. While in Iraq, the delegation also met with General Ray Odierno, commander of multinational forces in Iraq who spoke glowingly of the job being done by the Pennsylvania Guard to bring security to Iraq.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Video of Congressman Shuster Rolling-Out the NS99 Electric Locomotive

On September 28th, Today, Congressman Shuster joined Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in unveiling a revolutionary new electric locomotive at the Norfolk Southern Juniata works in Altoona. The new engine, developed by Penn State and Norfolk Southern, with funding from Congress and the private sector, will help usher in a new generation of clean and green rail transportation.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Shuster testifies about his credit card interchange fee legislation

Congressman Shuster testified today before the House Financial Services Committee on his legislation, H.R.2382 which would reform the interchange fees banks charge on credit cards for small business transactions:

OCTOBER 8, 2009

Thank you Chairman Frank, Ranking Member Bachus, and members of the Committee for allowing me to share information on this very important topic of interchange fees. I would also like to thank Congressman Welch for his leadership on this issue.

I believe action is needed to help level the playing field between consumers, small businesses, and credit card companies by requiring greater transparency and prohibiting unfair and abusive practices when it comes to interchange fees.

Last summer’s dramatic rise in gas prices was a prime example of inflexibility by credit card companies towards merchants and consumers over the interchange fee. As fuel purchases rose above authorized transaction limits, major card companies reserved the right to repay gasoline merchants a lower price than was actually purchased, particularly on smaller transactions.

I joined with Congressman Welch to introduce H.R. 2382, to curb this type of practice. This legislation focuses heavily on transparency in the hopes of determining whether credit card companies are pursuing anti-competitive practices. It makes Interchange Fees subject to full disclosure and terms and conditions set by credit card companies easily accessible by consumers. It would also prohibit profits from Interchange Fees from being used to subsidize credit card rewards programs. Small businesses, and ultimately consumers, should not be financing perks of luxury card holders.

To put the impact of Interchange Fees into the perspective of a business take, consider the convenience store chain Sheetz as a real life example. The Sheetz Corporation, which has 363 stores in 6 states, is headquartered in my congressional district. Last year, Sheetz paid twice as much in interchange fees as they took in net income after tax. Their second largest expense, after payroll, is the interchange fee. This means that for Sheetz, the interchange fee eclipses the company’s cost of rent for their 363 stores; and the interchange fee is one and a half times the cost of providing health care to their nearly 13,000 employees.

Sheetz is not alone. Sadly, it is joined by thousands of businesses across the country who are being unfairly penalized through interchange fees. Something must be done and I believe H.R. 2382 is the right vehicle for change.

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, I hope you will consider the merits of this bill, as well as the serious struggle of business owners and their need for transparency, simplicity, and fairness when it comes to the issue of Interchange Fees. Thank you for having me here today.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Shuster speaks in support of his Flight 93 resolution

Today, the House of Representatives considered H. Res. 795, a resolution introduced by Congressman Bill Shuster, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, honoring the people of Shanksville, Pennsylvania and the Flight 93 Ambassadors for their efforts in creating the Flight 93 temporary memorial and encouraging the completion of the National Park Service Flight 93 National Memorial by the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001.

Here are congressman Shuster's floor remarks in support of his legislation:

Shuster's House Resolution honoring Flight 93 Ambassadors to be debated today in the House

Here is the full text of Shuster's legislation honoring the Flight 93 Ambassadors and the people of Shanksville for their efforts protect and honor the crash site of Flight 93:


Honoring the people of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the Flight 93 Ambassadors for their efforts in creating the Flight 93 temporary memorial and encouraging the completion of the... (Introduced in House)



1st Session

H. RES. 795

Honoring the people of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the Flight 93 Ambassadors for their efforts in creating the Flight 93 temporary memorial and encouraging the completion of the National Park Service Flight 93 National Memorial by the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001.


October 1, 2009

Mr. SHUSTER submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources


Honoring the people of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the Flight 93 Ambassadors for their efforts in creating the Flight 93 temporary memorial and encouraging the completion of the National Park Service Flight 93 National Memorial by the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001.

Whereas, on September 11, 2001, the passengers and crew of United Flight 93 courageously gave their lives, thereby thwarting a planned attack on our Nation's Capital;

Whereas the Flight 93 crash site is a profound national symbol of American patriotism and spontaneous leadership of citizen heroes;

Whereas the people of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, came together as a community to protect the sacred ground and construct a temporary memorial where Flight 93 crashed on September 11th;

Whereas the Flight 93 Ambassadors, created by members of the Shanksville community after the tragic events of September 11th, have exhibited selfless dedication and leadership by preserving and recounting the heroic story of the brave intervention of the passengers and crew against the terrorists to the memorial's visitors; and

Whereas in large part due to the efforts of the community and Flight 93 Ambassadors, Congress authorized the creation of a permanent national memorial as part of the National Park System under Public Law 107-226, the Flight 93 National Memorial Act: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

      (1) honors the Shanksville, Pennsylvania, community and Flight 93 Ambassadors for--

        (A) their foresight, dedication, and leadership in protecting the Flight 93 temporary memorial, the preservation and sharing of the heroic story of the brave intervention of the passengers and crew against terrorists; and

        (B) their efforts to establish a permanent national memorial to Flight 93; and

      (2) encourages the Secretary of the Interior and the National Park Service to complete the Flight 93 National Memorial, as authorized by the Flight 93 National Memorial Act, by the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

What 9.8% Unemployment Really Means - By the Numbers

From GOP Conference:

“I know that ultimately the measure of an economy is, is it producing jobs that help people support families, send their kids to college?”

—President Barack Obama, September 20, 2009

Last week, the Department of Labor reported the highest unemployment rate in 26 years—9.8 percent for the month of September. Sadly, 9.8 percent only tells part of the story of the struggles of average Americans. A deeper look at the numbers reveals the true cost of the Democrats’ economic policies, especially for the nation’s most vulnerable people.

15,142,000: People unemployed and looking for work—the highest number ever.

263,000: Jobs eliminated in September.

1,916,000: People laid off in September—the highest number in one month ever.

2,884,000: Jobs lost since Democrats’ “stimulus” was passed in February.

9,179,000: People who are working only part-time because they cannot find full time employment.

2,219,000: People who want work, but who are not currently looking because of state the economy.

5,438,000: People unemployed and searching for work for more than 27 weeks—the highest level ever.

1,112,000: Job seekers that are new entrants to the workforce and have yet to find a job.

26.2: Average number weeks job seekers are unemployed after losing their jobs—the highest number since the statistic was first recorded in 1948.

25.9%: Unemployment rate among job seekers between the ages of 16 and 19—the highest level since the statistic was first measured in 1948.

15.4%: Unemployment rate among African Americans—the highest level since 1985.

12.7%: Unemployment rate among Hispanics and Latinos.

17%: Rate of underemployment, accounting for the unemployed and those who are unable to find adequate work.

15%: Unemployment rate among job seekers without a high school degree.

65.2%: Rate of the U.S. population in the workforce—the lowest level since 1986.

58.8%: Rate of the U.S. population who currently has a job—the lowest level since 1985.