WASHINGTON — Veteran Republican Senator John McCain on Thursday unveiled an alternative employment plan after his party this week blocked President Barack Obama’s jobs bill in the Senate.
McCain presented proposals drawn up with fellow Senator Rand Paul, a member of the conservative Tea Party movement, pledging to halt new regulations, reform public spending, and overhaul the nation’s tax code.
“In all due respect to the president, his plan, we’ve seen that movie before,” said McCain, who was defeated by Obama in the 2008 election when he ran as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.
Democrats “believe that they can create jobs through government spending, we believe that we can create jobs through growth,” he added.
Paul, meanwhile, criticized Obama’s bid alleging he was seeking to levy more tax on America’s richest citizens to pay for the jobs bill in a bid to bring down the nation’s average 9.1 percent unemployment rate.
“It does not further the debate to go around the country and say millionaires are not paying their fair share. That is objectively false,” he said, in a jab at Obama’s nationwide tour to whip up backing for his bill.
“Ninety-nine percent of millionaires pay 29 percent” in income tax, while “the average carpenter pays between 15 percent and 18 percent,” Rand added.
Among proposals which could secure consensus between the two parties, McCain cited tax reforms that could repatriate $1,400 billion in profits made by US companies abroad.
The plan presented by the Republicans also contains measures to increase offshore oil drilling and enhanced presidential powers to negotiate free trade agreements.
The measures outlined Thursday have the support of 20 Republican senators, according to McCain.
Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan slid to defeat Tuesday against a wall of Senate Republican opposition, but he vowed to fight on amid grim new warnings that partisan warfare could spark a new recession.
Two Democratic senators, facing tough reelection fights, had joined Republicans in ensuring that Obama’s jobs bill would not reach the 60-vote supermajority needed to advance in the 100-seat Senate.