By Russell Berman - 05/26/11 05:37 PM EDT
House Republicans sought to refocus attention on job creation Thursday, unveiling a package of proposals aimed at boosting economic growth.
The agenda includes items to reduce regulation and taxes, promote free trade and modernize the patent system. Yet as GOP leaders acknowledged, the wish list of business-friendly proposals contains few, if any, new ideas, and faces little chance of quick passage through the Democratic Senate.
One piece, known as the REINS Act — for Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny — would require congressional approval of federal regulations that have a “significant” impact on the economy. The GOP chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Dave Camp (Mich.), outlined plans to reduce taxes on corporations and individuals to no more than 25 percent as part of a “fundamental” overhaul of the tax code his panel is developing. And Republicans pushed for the passage of pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea — one element of the plan that has support from the Obama administration, although disagreements over trade adjustment assistance have caused delays.
BoehnerJohn Boehner3 ways the next president can succeed on immigration reform Republican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare MORE said the agenda would create the “real economic growth that the Obama stimulus promised but failed to deliver.”
“We have a growth plan. [Democrats] do not,” Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorRyan seeks to avoid Boehner fate on omnibus GOPers fear trillion-dollar vote is inevitable Insiders dominate year of the outsider MORE (R-Va.) said.
Democrats shot down the GOP agenda even before it was unveiled.
"It's warmed-over stew," Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters. "These are the same policies in the Bush administration that did not create jobs, that increased the deficit [and] did not strengthen the middle class.
"You have to invest in growth [to have] job creation," she said.
Democrats have criticized Republicans for failing to bring true jobs bills to the floor in their first five months in the majority and instead focusing too much on cutting spending and divisive social issues like abortion. One Democratic leadership aide pronounced the press conference a “desperate” attempt “to stop talking about their vote to end Medicare.”
A dozen House Republicans lined up behind the podium to pledge support for the jobs plan. All but one of them, Rep. Kevin BradyKevin BradyRyan: Pacific deal can't be fixed in time for lame-duck vote Why Obama needs PhRMA US wins aerospace subsidies trade case over the EU MORE (R-Texas), spoke. “I’m just eye candy,” Brady quipped.
— Mike Lillis contributed to this article.