Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTSA agents protest government shutdown at Pittsburgh airport The case for Russia sanctions Pompeo planning to meet with Pat Roberts amid 2020 Senate speculation MORE (R-Ky.) said if Democrats were serious about job creation, they would allow one of his bills to be considered as an amendment to the unemployment insurance extension.

McConnell, along with Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulPressure mounts for Trump to reconsider Syria withdrawal House Republicans call for moving State of the Union to Senate chamber GOP rep: 'Rand Paul is giving the president bad advice' on Afghanistan and Syria MORE (R-Ky.), have recently introduced the Economic Freedom Zones Act, which would allow impoverished areas to be exempt from some government regulations.

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“With this legislation ... small-business owners would see fewer government regulations, enabling them to create jobs and drive prosperity,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday. “Entrepreneurs would see punitive tax barriers peeled back, allowing them to lead a recovery with new ideas and energy. Failed education systems would see reforms that lift up disadvantaged children, giving new hope to a younger generation.”

McConnell failed to give specifics on which burdensome regulations would be lifted, but challenged Democrats to let the bill be debated during consideration of the temporary extension of unemployment insurance for the 1.3 million people who lose their benefits on Dec. 28.

McConnell said lawmakers should be working to solve the problem of unemployment rather than simply treating the symptoms.

“So if our Democrat colleagues are serious about their focus on economic distress — if it’s more than just some poll-tested ObamaCare distraction — then I invite them to work with us on innovative new approaches like this,” McConnell said. “They could allow the Senate, for instance, to consider our proposal as an amendment to the UI legislation currently on the floor.”

McConnell’s remarks came minutes after Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSenate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees Harry Reid knocks Ocasio-Cortez's tax proposal: Fast 'radical change' doesn't work Overnight Defense: Trump rejects Graham call to end shutdown | Coast Guard on track to miss Tuesday paychecks | Dems eye Trump, Russia probes | Trump talks with Erdogan after making threat to Turkey's economy MORE (D-Nev.) criticized Republicans for complaining instead of legislating.