Ask and ye shall receive.
Throughout the debate over the jobs bill, the White House has consistently asked to see the Republicans’ plan for jobs instead of just criticizing the president’s plan. Today, President Obama echoed this sentiment at a press conference, asking if the Republicans had a jobs plan of their own.
So today, Senate Republicans released a jobs package of their own as an alternative plan to the president’s.
“We just thought it was time to put this all in a package, and I will freely admit to you part of it is in response to the president saying we don’t have a proposal,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Unveiled at a news conference today with more than a dozen senators, Republicans said they had the support of “all but a handful” of Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader McConnell, R-Ky.
The plan is called the “Jobs Through Growth Act,” and Republicans claim it will create more than 5 million jobs. It has dramatic differences with President Obama’s American Jobs Act - so drastic that it doesn’t seem to include one of President Obama’s proposals.
The plan calls for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, a repeal of Obama’s health care law and financial overhaul, a complete moratorium on new regulations and medical malpractice reform, among numerous other reforms.
“President Obama and my friends on the other side of the aisle in the Senate believe that they can create jobs through government spending,” McCain said. “We believe that we can create jobs through growth. They believe that government and spending creates jobs. We believe that business and growth creates jobs.”
McCain said of Obama’s jobs plan, “We’ve seen that movie before.”
“We believe that the private marketplace creates jobs,” said Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. “We also believe that lowering tax rates can create an economic boom.”
Knowing that President Obama and Democrats will not react favorably to the plan, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called for a “jobs summit.”
“If you don’t like everything in here – and there are some things we could probably agree on; there are probably some things in his jobs bill that we could agree on – it would be helpful for this country if Republicans and Democrats were called together to see if we could find a breakthrough,” Graham said.
Republicans said there has been no outreach by the White House on creating a jobs bill.
“There’s been ‘pass it now’ out there on the campaign trail, and that obviously is not an outreach,” McCain said.
Republicans believe there are numerous components of their bill that Democrats will find attractive: tax reform, regulatory reform, repatriation of $1.4 trillion in foreign earnings trapped overseas in countries where U.S.-based multinational companies do business, and withholding tax relief.
McConnell was not at the news conference today but intends to co-sponsor the bill. He issued a paper statement in support.
“While President Obama continues to recycle the same failed economic policies that have brought Americans fewer jobs and more debt, Republicans have consistently focused on solutions that will create sustainable private sector jobs that won’t disappear when the federal cash spigot runs dry,” McConnell said. “Sens. McCain, Paul and Portman’s Jobs Through Growth Act stands in stark contrast to the tired tax-and-spend plans put forward by this administration.”
In response, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., called the plan a “political fig leaf that would likely add to the deficit while doing nothing to create jobs.”