May 04, 2011
PORTMAN POINTMAN. Senate Republicans, having blocked a Democratic small-business bill, on Tuesday rolled out their response. It is heavy on GOP hot spots like lighter regulations and export-encouraging trade agreements. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said the GOP answer dwells on seven core areas: lower spending, tax-code reform, scaled-back regulations, work force competitiveness, increasing exports, energy security, and health care cost reductions. It’s not groundbreaking stuff, but Republicans say it’s a way to bring down the unemployment rate and kick-start growth, which Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called “beyond tepid” after the first quarter’s 1.8 percent clip. “Clearly, we’re just sort of bumping along here,” said McConnell.