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House GOP tries to shift focus from Medicare to jobs

May 26, 2011|By Kathleen Hennessey | Washington Bureau
(Harry Hamburg/AP )

Reporting from Washington — House Republicans unveiled a jobs plan on Thursday as they tried to steer the conversation away from their controversial overhaul of Medicare to their solutions to boost the economy.

The package contains proposals aimed at business regulation, energy, tax rates, trade and patents. For the most part, the proposals already have been floated or introduced in the House but have been overshadowed by GOP efforts to cut government spending and overhaul entitlement programs.

The Republican push on entitlements, however, took a major hit this week when the party lost a congressional race in western New York that was dominated by the debate over proposed changes to Medicare, the healthcare plan for seniors.

By rebranding the proposals as a “jobs and growth plan,” House leaders said they hoped to underscore the latter part of what they call their “cut-and-grow” strategy

“The truth is we'll never balance our budget and rid our children of debt until we cut spending and have real economic growth,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters on Thursday. “That's why both House and Senate Republicans are focused on creating a better environment for private-sector job creation.”

The package includes a proposal -- already included in Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal -- that would lower the top corporate and individual tax rate from 35% to 25%, while eliminating unspecified loopholes and tax breaks.

It endorses a plan to allow multinational companies to bring profits earned overseas into the U.S. without paying a tax. And it calls for congressional review and approval of any proposed federal regulation expected to have a significant effect on the economy.

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