By Molly K. Hooper - 03/21/11 09:25 PM EDT
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Monday unveiled what he is calling a "pro-growth" economic plan.
The plan, presented at Stanford University’s conservative leaning Hoover Institute by the second-ranked Republican in the GOP-controlled House, centered on cutting business tax rates, reducing trade barriers, removing federal regulations and allowing more high-skilled worker visas.
“We’ve got to shift from having a government that smothers new jobs and business growth to one that nurtures an environment for getting people back to work and back to what Americans do best: innovate, compete and lead," Cantor said.
The majority leader shared his fear that the "gut sense of entrepreneuerialism is missing from the policy-making debate in Washington, both in the Congress and in the White House."
For the past few months, House Republicans have been consumed with cutting federal spending. Last week however, GOP leaders held a jobs forum in Washington before leaving town for the weeklong district work period.
Cantor, who introduced the phrase "cut and grow" as the House GOP's position on turning around the high unemployment rate and reducing the size of government, elaborated Monday on the "grow" portion of that equation.
Cantor outlined several policy prescriptions to accomplish the goal of spurring private-business creation and innovation.
He proposed reducing the corporate tax rate "to at least 25 percent — equal to our competitors."
Recognizing that moving such an ambitious reduction with Democrats in control of the Senate and the White House would be difficult, Cantor suggested allowing "U.S. multinational companies to bring back almost $1.2 trillion in overseas profits at a lower tax so they can invest in our economy here at home."
He also focused on limiting what he called the explosion in federal regulations that have come into effect since President Obama was inaugurated two years ago.
Since taking control of the House in January, House Republicans have held numerous hearings on reducing federal regulations that they say act as a disincentive to private companies.
Cantor revealed that the House would soon vote on a "bill that requires congressional approval for any regulation with significant economic impact."
The majority leader seemed to favor a change in current immigration laws to allow more high-skilled workers the opportunity to work in the United States.
Noting Congress's authority to "regulate entry into this country," Cantor suggested reforming the system, if doing so "helps us keep thousands of jobs here in America."
He argued that 2011 would be critical in the future of business growth in America.
"Fifty years from now, people will look at 2011 as the year we began our comeback or the year that we continued our fallback," Cantor said.