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Miller: Economy First

The U.S. Chamber has many experts on many issues but given the current state of the economy we have one over-arching priority this year: recovery. We need solutions that are immediate, effective, and designed to position our nation for the future.

As president and CEO of the Chamber Tom Donohue outlined recently in Detroit the stimulus bill signed by President Obama was a necessary, if imperfect, first step.

However, implementing the bill is just the beginning.

We need to take actions to revive our key industries and to restore credit and confidence to the economy. We need a solid plan to fix what went wrong in the financial markets and restore them to full vitality and we need to maintain our role as a global leader. Succumbing to isolationist panic will only lead to devastating results. These are tough times, and we face enormous challenges but we must remain positive and confident.

Beyond everything else though we must put the economy first.

Now is not the time to push through narrow, costly special interest projects which at best don’t create jobs and at worst will cost them. Every proposal should be evaluated in light of the current economic situation and if it inhibits recovery it should be put back on the shelf. Card Check legislation, I’m looking at you.

Along with promoting – and protecting – stimulus the Chamber also recognizes the opportunity that exists to strengthen our foundation. Investments in infrastructure, health care reform and energy technology can create jobs, reduce costs, and provide security for years to come.

President Obama shares our concern on these issues and on the economy as a whole. Although we may disagree on specifics, we will work with the Administration on creating effective, comprehensive policies that spur economic growth and create jobs.

That is our goal, that is our test and we will oppose all measures which fail to pass.

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Bill Miller, is Senior Vice President of Political Affairs & Federation Relations, as well as the National Political Director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.