- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 26, 2011

House Republicans unveiled a blueprint Thursday to create jobs that calls for easing government regulations on business that they say prevent the hiring of workers and handcuff the economy.

A key provision is a 25 percent cap on the federal tax rate for businesses and individuals. The current top corporate tax rate is 35 percent, while the rate fluctuates for individuals.

The plan also calls for a congressional review and approval of all government regulations that have a “significant impact on the economy or burden small businesses.”

“Helping Americans get back to work is our No. 1 priority,” said House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican.
The package borrows heavily from prior House GOP job growth proposals, particularly last year’s Pledge to America.

Mr. Boehner, when asked what was new about the plan, responded that “just because we proposed it in the past doesn’t mean it was not a good idea.”

“I think the package that we have represents a lot of traditional ideas and new ideas about how to let the private sector create jobs,” he said.

Democrats accused Republicans of failing to pass meaningful job growth legislation since they took control of the House in January. They also said Republicans opposed Democratic jobs bills when Democrats held the House in prior years.

“They are trying to undo what we have put into law for job creation, and to come back with the same old, same old, which were the policies of the Bush administration, which got us in the fix we are now,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat.

But House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, said Thursday’s proposal is another phase in his party’s long-term approach to create jobs.

“We said we were going to adopt a two-prong approach,” he said. “The first was to get the [congressional] fiscal house in order.”

Mr. Cantor cited House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget blueprint as a “concrete proposal to reduce spending in Washington and to change the culture once and for all.”

“But we also said it’s not just about cuts, that you also need to grow the economy,” Mr. Cantor said.

“What we want to do is to continue to build on the Pledge to America and all the work that our chairmen in committees have been doing over the last five months to make sure that our nation’s job creators have an economy in which they can start hiring again.”

The House GOP plan calls for Congress to pass long-stalled free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, which House Republicans say would create 25,000 jobs.

The plan also would reform the tax code for U.S. companies doing business overseas, modernize the nation’s patent system and encourage “all forms” of domestic energy production.

• Sean Lengell can be reached at slengell@washingtontimes.com.

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