By Alexander Bolton - 09/07/11 07:31 PM EDT
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled Wednesday that Senate Republicans would likely oppose a $300 billion economic stimulus package President Obama is set to unveil.
McConnell said more federal spending is not the answer to the nation’s persistent 9.1 percent unemployment rate, and that Obama would create more jobs if he delayed and repealed environmental regulations that Republicans say put a burden on businesses.
McConnell applauded Obama’s decision last week to delay strict new regulations curbing smog emissions.
“I think the president’s decision last Friday to delay the ozone regulation in all likelihood will produce way more jobs than anything he might recommend tomorrow night by way of additional government spending,” McConnell said. “So we’ll listen politely to what he has to say and take a look at it, but our view is that we need to go in an entirely different direction.”
Senate Republicans say Obama should send to Congress three pending trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia instead of proposing another round of economic stimulus spending.
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said he wanted to hear “something different” from the president.
“What he’s been saying and what he’s been doing haven’t been working,” Thune said.
Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Senate ratification of the three trade deals “would create $10 [billion] to $14 billion in new exports and put farmers and manufacturers to work selling overseas what they make and grow in the United States.”