Paul's amendment is one of several that Republicans introduced to what Senate Democrats are calling a major jobs bill, although it is not clear that all or any of them will be considered. The bill, S. 782, would increase funding for the Public Works and Economic Development Administration (EDA) to $500 million, from the nearly $300 million it received in fiscal 2011.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who had been blocking Senate work on the bill until he was assured of an open amendment process, introduced several on Tuesday that are likely to be controversial. Among other things, DeMint has offered language that would repeal the EDA entirely, make estate tax relief permanent and terminate a global climate change response fund at the Department of Energy.
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) has an amendment that would require agencies to assess the impact of regulations on small companies before those regulations are released.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced a handful of amendments, including one that would create a new government commission tasked with recommending the abolishment of government programs and agencies. Cornyn is also proposing quarterly reports on threats to the U.S. caused by foreign holdings of U.S. debt, and that the sand dune lizard be exempted from the Endangered Species Act.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is proposing language to bar the use of federal funds to build ethanol blender pumps or ethanol storage facilities, and to repeal federal requirements to pay prevailing wages in construction projects. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) proposed an amendment that would allow states to drop out of requirements of last year's healthcare law.