Offering an alternative to President Obama and his American Jobs Act, a trio of Senate Republicans have drafted a “Real American Jobs Act” they will present on Thursday. The legislation is being spearheaded by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who has joined Sen. Rob Portman, R-Oh., and Sen. John McCain, R-Az., to propose less labor and environment regulation, lower taxes, expand free trade and enact a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
But Republican lawmakers are taking a chance by having a plan that contrasts with the president’s $447 billion plan, which among other ideas proposes funding infrastructure projects and payroll tax cuts.
Senate Republicans are taking on a risk by putting their ideas in legislative language. They could open themselves up to criticism from Democrats if official budget scorekeepers show that the price tag could drive up the deficit and if economists are dubious on whether it would actually create jobs.
And Democrats will undoubtedly attack the plan as a rehash of old GOP proposals.A draft of one version of the plan, for instance, calls for “revenue neutral” changes to the Tax Code at a time when bipartisan commissions have called for higher revenues to reduce the deficit. And it appears to punt some of the tougher decisions on precisely where spending cuts would come from and how the Tax Code should be overhauled, instead forcing congressional committees and future Congresses to make those calls.
The president’s plan failed its first congressional test and was voted down in the Senate by 51 to 48 on a procedural motion.
The GOP plan will be officially released at 2 p.m. today.