* Republicans seek to repeal 10 labor, environmental rules
* Small business would win new tax deduction
* Democrats accuse Republicans of playing politics
By Richard Cowan and Thomas Ferraro
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S.
House of Representatives want to create jobs by killing
regulations on companies and passing tax breaks for small
business and government contractors, Majority Leader Eric
Cantor said Monday.
The initiative aims to reduce the stubbornly high 9.1
percent unemployment rate -- the top concern of voters ahead of
next year's congressional and presidential elections.
Democrats have been increasingly criticizing Republicans
for focusing on shrinking government spending, even at the
expense of jobs, since taking control of the House eight months
The House seems certain to muster the votes to strike down
the 10 environmental and labor regulations targeted by
Republicans, but the effort will likely be blunted in the
One of the Republican tax proposals would give small
businesses a deduction equal to 20 percent of their incomes.
Cantor said this would free up funds for those businesses to
hire new workers and to invest in their firms.
Cantor did not provide details on lost revenues if his
proposal, which was unveiled about a year ago, became law.
A "super committee", which is due to convene by Sept. 16,
is expected to look broadly at U.S. tax policy and whether more
revenues can be found to help shrink federal budget deficits.
The Republican leader also said he would seek House repeal
of a 3 percent tax withholding plan due to begin in 2013. Aimed
at discouraging tax cheating, the withholding is for government
contractors with business in excess of $100 million.
Billions of dollars are being lost from contractors not
complying with tax law, according to government estimates. But
the new law will cause "potentially harmful cash flow
disruptions for contractors and subcontractors across all
sectors," Cantor said.
JOBS LIKELY TO DOMINATE DEBATE
The battle in Congress over how best to create jobs will
likely dominate debate on Capitol Hill for the remainder of
2011 and next year.
"It is essential that the House continue to focus on the
job crisis," Cantor wrote in a memo to fellow Republicans in
preparation for the return of Congress next week from its
summer recess. The memo was distributed widely to reporters.
"By pursuing a steady repeal of job-destroying regulations,
we can help lift the cloud of uncertainty hanging over small
and large employers alike, empowering them to hire more
workers," Cantor added.
While backers of the regulations say the measures are vital
to provide clean air and water, a nonhazardous workplace and
safe consumer goods, Republicans complain that they cost jobs.
Senator Charles Schumer, a member of Democratic leadership,
accused Republicans of playing politics and failing to do what
is necessary to help the fragile U.S. economy.
"When they even stall common-sense measures like continuing
the payroll tax cut for the middle class, it's clear
Republicans are still putting politics ahead of our economic
recovery," Schumer said in response to Cantor's memo.
"Their agenda seems intended only to provide cover for
blocking the kind of pro-growth proposals needed to make a
difference," Schumer said.
Cantor, instead of trying to repeal what he called the "top
10 job-destroying regulations" in one swoop, plans to stage
weekly votes during the next few months on each of the rules --
giving Republicans the opportunity to keep the debate alive
The regulations include ones by the National Labor
Relations Board and the Environmental Protection Agency,
favorite targets of Republicans and the business community.
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