Washington (CNN) - A group of Republican senators unveiled job creation legislation Thursday that is designed to be a policy and political counterpoint to the Democratic measures President Obama has pressured Republicans to pass.
Built around well-known GOP principles to shrink the footprint of Washington on the economy by cutting taxes, spending, and federal regulations, Republicans believe having actual legislation they can point to will weaken the president's charge that Republicans aren't doing enough to create jobs.
"I'll freely admit to you, part of this is a response to the president saying that we don't have a proposal," said Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona. "We have lots of proposals and we've had lots of proposals. We've put them together now and they're out there and that's our plan."
"This is the alternative," said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.
McCain said the bill will "act as a blueprint to bring our country back economically" and explained that while Democrats rely on government spending to revive the economy, "we believe we can create jobs through (economic) growth."
The GOP plan reads like a laundry list of GOP priorities. It would require a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution; reduce the highest personal income tax rate to 25% and require reform and simplification of the tax code. It would repeal so-called "Obamacare," reform malpractice laws, and scrap the Dodd-Frank reforms passed after the financial crisis. It would also curtail Washington's ability to regulate the private sector through a moratorium on new regulations and by requiring more input from Congress on the regulations issued by government agencies.
Democrats derided the GOP plan and charged that it would not create jobs.
"This is a political fig leaf that would likely add to the deficit while doing nothing to create jobs," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York. "Anyone who actually talks to real Americans knows that they don't support laying off teachers and cops to pay for tax breaks for millionaires, as Senate Republicans voted to do this week."