Yesterday, taking their anti-regulatory zeal to absurd new heights, House Republicans claimed that a proposed rule from the Interior Department that would “designate the Burmese python and eight other snake species as ‘injurious’” — therefore “make it illegal to import them or transport them across state lines” — is a threat to job creation. They even brought a snake breeder to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who said that the rule could “devastate a small but thriving sector of the economy.”
This is simply the latest salvo from the GOP against regulation, as it seeks to undo everything from labor protections to environmental safeguards (with several Republicans calling for the complete dismantling of the Environmental Protection Agency). Republicans have also been fighting the implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, on the grounds that tighter regulation of the banking sector will kill jobs.
At the same time, Republicans are mounting growing opposition to the Obama administration jobs plan, which includes a payroll tax cut for workers, infrastructure funding, school modernization and aid to states to prevent more public sector layoffs. Here is a table outlining the GOP and Democratic priorities given the current debate in Washington:
Obviously, reality is a bit more complicated than this. But as ThinkProgress’ Ian Millhiser has explained, the GOP has put forth a plan that would “permanently shut down the federal government’s ability to regulate.” For all intents and purposes, their job creation plan can be summed up as this: lower taxes on the wealthy and corporations coupled with letting corporations do what they please.
Meanwhile, economists have found that the administration’s job creation plan will boost GDP growth and create millions of jobs next year. A poll from National Journal shows that Americans prefer Obama’s job creation ideas to the GOP’s.