Boehner Unveils GOP Stimulus Plan

In a move to rebut Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Republican Leader John A. Boehner laid out a set of economic principles on Monday he expects the majority party to include in a financial recovery package.

Boehner was reportedly going to call Congress back to session before the election, but that request was not in the final draft of his letter to the speaker.

The speaker and her Democratic colleagues in the House are scheduled to unveil the specifics of an estimated $150 billion package of increased federal spending to stimulate the economy. It would include money for road improvements, an extension of unemployment benefits, more spending for food stamps and financial aid to the states. The package could also include a second series of tax rebates, but that was still under debate as of Sunday.

Pelosi would like to call the House back to session after the election to approve the proposed measure, but a big question remains whether or not to offset the costs of this legislation with a windfall profits tax on oil companies - something the Democrats' presidential candidate, Barack Obama, favors.

Calling some of the Democrats' federal aid "pork-barrel spending masquerading as 'stimulus,'" Boehner sought to expand the debate over this recovery package from stop-gap measures to longer range policy changes, like altering the tax code.

"Nothing currently being discussed by the Majority as 'stimulus' will stabilize the economy long-term," Boehner said in his letter. He makes the same point about easing "the uncompetitive nature of our nation's tax rates," attracting foreign capital and incentives to help small business.

In the letter, Boehner renewed his calls for comprehensive legislation to update offshore drilling laws to encourage development off the coastline, which includes legal protections for oil companies. In a nod to the Democrats' priorities, he also suggests that the package include more incentives for alternative and renewable fuels and programs to boost efficiency and conservation.

Boehner highlights some proposals without a long political history on Capitol Hill, like insuring bank deposits that companies use to buy goods or pay employees, insuring the money that banks lend each other overnight and suspending federal requirements on retirees over the age of 70 to withdraw some portion of their retirement accounts each year.

And, of course, the Republican leader also calls on Congress do things lawmakers in his own party love, but Democrats don't, like lowering the 35-percent tax rate on money U.S. companies make overseas, suspending the capital gains tax for individuals and businesses that purchase equity over the next two years and lowering the corporate tax rate.

The full text is after the jump.
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