GOP presidential contender Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) released his White House economic plan on Wednesday, making him the latest contender to offer an economic blueprint and coming against the backdrop of a looming, potential government shutdown as House GOP members grapple with how to keep the government funded past September.

Some of the points that Scott raised in his plan include cutting non-defense discretionary spending to pre-pandemic levels; instituting the policy of merit pay for government officials instead of automatic raises; implementing several tax policies, such as eliminating the death tax and “stop the Biden Tax Hike” – a nod to his fiscal year 2024 budget proposal that includes a slight increase in the top marginal income tax rate and would have the wealthiest .01 percent of families paying a 25 percent tax rate.

The plan also calls for the creation of a “Welfare Reform 2.0” that would create stricter work requirements for programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as food stamps; avoiding “blunt trade wars with our friends and allies that hurt consumers and set us back in the mission of isolating China”; and revamping the research and development (R&D) tax credit.

“On Joe Biden’s watch, China builds while America borrows. I have a plan to stop borrowing and start building, and create a future Made in America,” Scott said in a statement upon the release of his economic plan. 

“As President, I will cut socialist government spending, reclaim our supply chains, cut taxes, and unleash American energy. We will lead the world in building, growing, and inventing the future,” he added.

Scott’s plan comes as the South Carolina Republican is still trails far behind former President Trump, though some polling suggests he’s seen his support increase slightly. An Emerson College Polling survey in Iowa out on Tuesday, for example, showed Scott polling at 8 percent, up 3 percent from May.

Meanwhile, Trump sat at 49 percent, down from 62 percent in May. DeSantis sat at 14 percent, down from 20 percent in May. 

In other surveys, the South Carolina Republican polling behind several other challengers, like an Iowa State University/Civiqs poll, that had Scott placing fifth behind Trump, DeSantis, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley in Iowa.

Still, Trump has shown his continued dominance in the 2024 GOP primary despite growing legal challenges, raising questions over whether any of his challengers will be able to dethrone him from first place by the time of the Iowa caucuses. 

The South Carolina Republican’s plan also comes against the backdrop of an impending potential government shutdown later this month as House Republicans grapple with a series of spending bills that need to be passed within the next few weeks, or a short-term spending bill in the meantime.

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