Georgia’s Senator Johnny Isakson gives this week’s, and this year’s final, Republican address:
Full text of the address is after the jump, and you can get the MP3 version here.
“I’m United States Senator Johnny Isakson from the great state of Georgia. I hope that you and your family have had a very blessed holiday season. On this New Year’s Eve, I’d like to wish you a very happy and healthy 2012.
“As a businessman who ran a company in the private sector for 22 years, I always began each year by setting goals for myself and my company. I’d like to take a moment to set some goals, or in this case, ‘commitments,’ that we as Republicans make to the American people for 2012.
“It’s no secret that the number one issue facing our country is jobs. So the number one goal of the Republicans for 2012 is to continue to make it easier for American small businesses to create jobs.
“We’ll accomplish this by focusing on three things: fundamental tax reform, regulatory reform and energy security.
“In 2012, Republicans will continue to fight for much-needed tax reform for all American families and small businesses. It is critical if we want to see the economy grow in this country.
“We should lower tax rates, do away with certain specialized and targeted tax deductions, broaden the tax base and close loopholes. Many of these suggestions were included in President Obama’s own deficit commission’s proposal, the Simpson-Bowles plan. Unfortunately, the President chose to ignore that plan.
“Congress cannot wait any longer to get our nation’s fiscal house in order. This means tackling the nearly $4.5 trillion in additional debt that the Obama Administration has racked up in just the past three years.
“Democrats have pushed over and over again to raise taxes on the American families and small businesses to pay for their unsustainable spending habits. This is absolutely the wrong solution, especially in a time of a recession.
“Instead, we must dig our way out of this debt by reforming our tax system, cutting spending and extending opportunity for businesses to grow.
“In 2012, Republicans will continue to fight to remove the shackles of onerous federal regulations on American small businesses. This is one of the fastest ways we can empower small businesses to begin hiring again. It’s one of the keys to bringing our country out of this recession.
“The burdensome overregulation by President Obama’s federal agencies has resulted in small businesses holding capital on the sidelines and freezing plans to hire new workers. American business cannot plan ahead because they fear the next expensive regulation might be coming from the federal government.
“It is uncertainty that must end.
“The federal government cannot regulate our country into prosperity. Our job as legislators is to see to it that there is a level playing field for businesses, entrepreneurs and workers.
“Our job is not to eliminate risk. If you eliminate risk, you eliminate reward. If you eliminate risk and reward, you eliminate capitalism—the very foundation of our American economy.
“The third way that Republicans will make it easier to create jobs in the New Year is by continuing to push for energy solutions that create jobs, lower energy costs and remove our dependence on foreign oil.
“We can accomplish these goals by tapping into our domestic resources in an environmentally responsible way; such as through offshore drilling and shale extraction. We must develop all forms of energy—wind, solar, nuclear and others—if we’re ever going to lessen our dependence on foreign oil.
“This past year, Republicans pushed for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to transport 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to the United States. This project would give America a reliable source of oil from our largest trading partner, and it would create tens of thousands of jobs for the American people. The Keystone pipeline is exactly the type of energy project this country needs.
“As we enter into this New Year, many have predicted that Congress will be too consumed with the Fall elections to accomplish anything significant.
“Americans cannot wait until after the November election. They need us to do our job and do it right now to create an economic climate that makes it easier to put people back to work. Republicans stand ready to do that.
“We’re ready to go to work in 2012 to get the American people back to work.
“God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America in this New Year.”