The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has presented Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) with its Spirit of Free Enterprise Award in recognition of his support of pro-jobs, pro-growth policies during the first session of the 112th Congress.
“Over the past year, Congressman Kingston has worked to protect and advance the interests of America’s job creators,” said Thomas J. Donahue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “By supporting pro-growth policies, Congressman Kingston is helping unleash the power of free enterprise to put our economy back on track and put Americans back to work.”
The Chamber’s prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Award, in its 24th year, is given annually to members of Congress based on how they voted on key business issues. Votes scored by the Chamber included the repeal of the 1099 reporting requirements, the IRS’ 3% withholding tax, and the health care law. Also scored were the free trade agreements with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea.
“We have made progress over the past year in advancing pro-growth policies to reignite our economy and put Americans back to work,” said Kingston. “I appreciate the Chamber’s recognition of my work in that fight but know we still have a long way to go. I will continue to combat barriers to growth and fight to empower the small businesses that drive our economy.”
In addition to the initiatives identified by the Chamber, Kingston has worked with local small business owners are a number of proposals to encourage economic growth.
After hearing of abuses in the system discouraging able workers from seeking employment, Kingston introduced legislation that would require drug screening as a condition of unemployment insurance benefits. By ensuring those receiving the benefits are keeping themselves eligible to re-enter the workforce, he believes the program can be preserved for those who need it most.
The red tape experienced by local farmers attempting to seek legal workers for temporary agricultural labor led Kingston to introduce a plan to overhauling the H2A visa system. His plan encourages the government to work with farmers seeking to operate within the law rather than penalize them for inadvertent mistakes.
“Government cannot create the jobs necessary to get us out of this recession,” Kingston said. “It can, however, help to create an environment conducive to growth. That’s why I continuously engage with small businesses in our district to learn what I can do to help.”