Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress presenting “The American Jobs Act”:

"America’s economy is stalling. The collapse of our financial system starting in 2007 was a significant blow that the country has yet to recover from. We are now confronting twin challenges of reducing our massive federal debt while encouraging economic growth and job creation. Action is necessary to free up investment and expand the job market on the short term and to begin to achieve the long-term goal of balancing the budget.

“I believe improving our national infrastructure is essential, and I was encouraged by the President’s proposal tonight. Federal investment in workforce training, transportation, education, and energy will support living wage jobs now and make sure we are equipped to compete and succeed in the global economy of the future.

“Implementing a tax credit for companies that hire America’s veterans would be a promising step. Our returning warfighters are equipped with a variety of technical skills that are not always immediately recognized by the private sector. After sacrificing for the security of all Americans, these men and women should be rewarded with a chance at a successful civilian career for themselves and their families.

“Closing corporate tax loopholes as part of the offset for this jobs plan also makes sense, and I give the President credit for looking at the revenue side of the budget equation in this proposal. Addressing the long-term debt crisis through a balance of responsible spending cuts and revenue increases is the direction we need to be moving in.

“Unfortunately, we still need to go further to address the larger problem inhibiting job growth in America today: Instability and lack of trust in our economic system. Investors are understandably wary after years of short-sighted, unpredictable policy governing the U.S. tax code, interest rates, and spending proposals. As a result, private capital sits on the sidelines, at a time when we desperately need businesses and individuals to hire and spend.

“I believe we need a 10-year, comprehensive budget plan that would return predictability to the marketplace. Simplifying the tax code and setting out a responsible, long-term financial framework would restore confidence and free up private-sector investment to return to the economy, expand businesses, and create jobs.

“The focus of recovery should be getting people back to work. Responsible federal policies that keep our fiscal house in order, investment in infrastructure, and removing barriers to private capital investment can work together to achieve this.”