A freshman Republican called for the House GOP leadership to pivot from cutting spending to "address head-on" reforming entitlement programs.

The new Republican majority has spent the last week negotiating some 580 amendments to the continuing resolution (CR), a measure to fund the government for the rest of fiscal 2011. 

That's prompted Democrats to accuse them of neglecting a key issue from the last midterm campaign — job creation.

According to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, "Republicans have focused on everything else, except jobs, for 44 days, 13 hours, 59 minutes."

But Virginia Rep. Scott Rigell (R) is convinced that reform of entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare can be packaged as job-creation measures. Rigell, who operates three car dealerships in the Hampton Roads area, said he's basing that argument on his own experience as a business owner.

"The exploding national debt was in and of itself a reason to pause, to hesitate, to slow down, to question: 'Do I put capital at risk in this environment because of the risk of hyper-inflation?' " he told The Ballot Box.

"Cutting the deficit is, in and of itself, giving the American entrepreneur the confidence that our economy is not going to just wheel out of control, so it's giving me confidence as an entrepreneur," Rigell said. "Cutting spending, in and of itself, is an essential step to creating jobs.

"It's incumbent upon the House" to deal with these entitlement programs, he added. "We are a nation at risk."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) made a similar pitch during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington on Wednesday.