Delivering the Weekly Republican Address, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) discusses the devastation caused by Hurricane Isaac and thanks all Americans for their prayers and support. Rep. Scalise represents some of the areas hardest hit by Isaac, including St. Tammany and Tangipahoa Parishes, where the floodwaters continue to recede. In the address, the lawmaker also commends local residents for their selflessness and resilience. These, he notes, are values we honor on Labor Day weekend as we pay tribute to America’s workers and rededicate ourselves to addressing the challenges they face in this tough economy.
NOTE: The Weekly Republican Address is embargoed until 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, September 1, 2012. The audio is available here, and video of the address will be available here to view and here to download. A full transcript follows:
“Hello from New Orleans. I’m Congressman Steve Scalise. It’s an honor to speak to you on this Labor Day weekend.
“But first, let me take a moment to thank all Americans for the prayers and support you’ve sent to our state and our region in recent days. Please keep those good thoughts and prayers coming, and as you do, I ask you to also remember those who lost their lives in Hurricane Katrina seven years ago. They’re always in our hearts.
“I’ve seen some of the damage from Hurricane Isaac firsthand, and I’ve spoken directly to local officials on the ground. Hundreds of thousands still remain without power, and the threat of flooding continues throughout southeast Louisiana. We’re not out of the woods just yet, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“During this disaster, we’ve seen neighbors helping each other and people coming together to ensure the safety of their loved ones. That’s what we in Louisiana do. That’s what Americans do. In tough times, we strive harder, we remember what’s most important to us, and we fight to protect it. One of the greatest things about our country is that we’re a resilient, hard-working people, and on this Labor Day weekend, we remember these values and the things that have made our country the greatest in the world.
“Our country was built by hard-working men and women willing to take risks and make sacrifices in the pursuit of happiness, seeking opportunities, working towards better lives for our families. The hopefulness and the optimism that comes with pursuing the American Dream, that’s what sets us apart and makes our nation great.
“One way we keep the American Dream alive, of course, is by building a strong, vibrant economy that promotes freedom and fosters private-sector jobs and opportunities. That’s why the House of Representatives has passed more than 30 jobs bills designed to empower small businesses and remove government barriers to economic growth.
“This includes proposals to develop an ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy that safely increases our domestic energy production while creating thousands of American jobs and reducing our dependence on Middle Eastern oil. Instead of paying $4 at the pump and being one natural disaster away from price spikes, we should have the certainty and stability that comes from relying on our own energy resources.
“All of these jobs bills are important, but one worth highlighting this Labor Day is our proposal to stop the tax hike on small businesses scheduled to take effect just months from now on New Year’s Day. According to an independent report from the accounting firm Ernst Young, this tax hike would destroy more than 700,000 jobs. That’s a blow our small businesses just can’t afford to take.
“The House has acted to stop this tax hike, so the critical test now is whether the Democratic-run Senate will act to do the same. We sure hope they will, and in short order.
“Because for millions of Americans, this Labor Day finds them still looking for work and still asking ‘where are the jobs?’ It doesn’t have to be this way, and we can turn it around, because in America it’s times of adversity that bring out the best in us. It’s a lesson we saw on display yet again this week in Southeast Louisiana And it’s one worth reflecting on in the coming days as we give thanks for the men and women who built this country, and rededicate ourselves to addressing the challenges America’s workers face.
“Thanks for listening, and God bless America.”