Mitt Romney’s advisers and congressional supporters said on Thursday they expect his initial focus in his first months in office would be on regulatory reform as part of his push to jump-start the economy.
“In terms of those first 100 days what Mitt Romney will focus on is how to get the economy going again, how to create jobs,” Romney senior adviser Ed Gillespie said during a GOP convention-related event sponsored by National Journal and The Atlantic. “One of most obvious things he can do is lift the burdens of mandates” and regulations, particularly related to President Obama’s health care law.
At a later panel discussion, a group of current and former GOP lawmakers echoed Gillespie. Regulatory reform is “something you can do” on Day 1 in office, former Rep. Vin Weber, R-Minn., said, noting that Romney likely would freeze the Obama administration’s regulations so the new president can sort out what should be scrapped.
Other issues that Romney would focus on during his first days in office will likely include issuing waivers to the states to opt out of the health care law, as well as beginning work on tax reform, Romney economic adviser Glenn Hubbard said. “If you talk to business leaders, uncertainty over health care, over regulations, over tax policy is weighing on the expansion,” he said.
Gillespie said another top priority for Romney would be approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline project, which the Obama administration rejected in its current form earlier this year.
And while debate over when or how to reform Medicare has dominated the presidential campaign since Romney picked Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as his running mate earlier this month, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said he doesn’t expect it would be a top immediate priority for a Romney administration.
“My guess is, it’s not on the agenda in the first 100 days,” said Kyl, who is retiring from the Senate at the end of the year. “I would think at some point in his administration, when the political support can be gathered, he will do that.”
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