McConnell: Obama’s $300B stimulus plan goes in wrong direction

Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKey GOP senators appear cool to Kavanaugh accuser's demand Trump hints at new executive action on immigration, wants filibuster-proof Senate majority The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — The Hill interviews President Trump MORE (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to the nation’s persistent 9.1 percent unemployment rate, and that Obama would create more jobs if he delayed and repealed environmental regulations that Republicans say put a burden on businesses.

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“We certainly intend to listen politely to the recommendations the president has, but I think I can pretty confidently say everybody in the Republican conference of the Senate thinks that we need to quit doing what we’ve been doing — quit borrowing, quit spending, quit threatening to raise taxes and quit having a big wet blanket on top of the private sector of the economy by this explosion of regulations,” McConnell told reporters. 

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 ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneWant to improve health care? Get Americans off of their couches More Dems want focus on job creation than wage growth Google, Apple, Amazon execs to testify at Senate privacy hearing this month MORE (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 AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Cruz gets help from Senate GOP in face of serious challenge from O’Rourke MORE (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.”