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America has been blessed with a wealth of natural resources. If used responsibly and effectively, the resources can be used to grow our economy and create jobs.

Unfortunately, the federal government restricts land usage and development. For example, our country relies almost completely on foreign countries for rare minerals that are vital to American manufacturing. Why? It can take over a decade to acquire all the government permits for a mineral production project. As we are currently enduring the worst economic recovery since Word War II, now is not the time to hobble development and impose unnecessary restrictions on growth.

The Natural Resources Committee has drafted two bills to help use our natural resources to allow for the creation of tens of thousands of jobs and to help boost America’s economic competitiveness:

 H.R. 1526, the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act: Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) drafted this bill to put Americans back to work by promoting responsible timber production and improved forest health.

H.R. 761, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act: Authored by Representative Mark Amodei (NV-02), this bill allows the U.S. to develop resources that are critical to our economic competiveness while aiding job creation.

Both of these bills have already passed the House with bipartisan support and, altogether, Democrats cast over 850 votes for the bills in the House’s energy and jobs and economy packages. Washington’s rules and regulations are impeding growth. By scaling back the red tape, we can get our economy humming again.