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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 1, 2008
Fact Sheet: Protecting Our Prosperity
President Bush's Plan To Expand Domestic Energy Production Would Help Americans Save Money At The Pump And Create New Opportunities For Workers And Businesses
Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released new jobs figures for July. Nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 51,000 jobs in July, and the unemployment rate was at 5.7 percent, below the average for each of the last three decades. Following yesterday's report that Gross Domestic Product for the second quarter grew at a rate of 1.9 percent, it is worth noting that labor-market growth tends to lag GDP growth. In addition, we expect the unemployment rate will rise to a higher level than it otherwise would have been over the course of several months as a direct consequence from the recent extension of unemployment benefits.
President Bush Urges Congress To Enact Pro-Growth Economic Policies
The President has repeatedly called on the Democrat-controlled Congress to allow expanded domestic production of oil and natural gas. One of the most important ways to do so is by increasing access to offshore exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Recently, the President lifted the Executive Branch restrictions on exploration, but Congress has not lifted its legislative restrictions. The only thing standing between the American people and these vast offshore resources is the United States Congress.
The President continues to press Democratic leaders in Congress to approve pending free trade agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, South Korea, and Panama. During President Bush's time in office, the number of countries with FTAs in force with the United States has jumped from three to 14. Over the four most recent quarters, U.S. export expansion alone accounted for almost 68 percent of U.S. GDP growth, a larger percentage of our GDP than at any time in our history.
President Bush Has Implemented Programs To Stabilize Our Nation's Housing And Financial Markets
This week, President Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which contains several critically important provisions to help stabilize the Nation's housing market, financial system, and broader economy. The law provides the Treasury Department with the temporary authority to assure continued access to liquidity and capital to the mortgage-lending government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In addition, the Administration strongly supports the creation of a stronger and more effective regulatory oversight regime for the GSEs.
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