WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A Feb. 25 healthcare reform summit at the White House is a Democratic publicity stunt and not a platform for ideas, U.S. Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl said.
Speaking Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Kyl, R-Ariz.,said he believes Democrats plan to use the meeting as a way to garner public support without entertaining the idea of starting from scratch to devise genuine reform.
"It's not a matter of taking this or that out of the Senate-passed bill or the House-passed bill, it's a matter of starting with basic principles and going one step at a time, solving particular problems," Kyl said.
On the subject of job growth, Kyl said his Republican colleagues still object to parts of a plan the Senate is to consider later this month.
Kyl was critical of a Democratic proposal to assist state governments with expanded bond authority and to help small businesses through tax breaks.
The federal government, Kyl said, can't afford to subsidize state governments with job growth and Republicans would prefer to help small businesses by keeping tax rates steady.
Kyl found some common ground with the Obama administration on foreign policy. Kyl agreed with Gen. James Jones, the national security adviser, that the U.S. mission in Afghanistan has improved and stabilized. Jones, also a guest on "State of the Union," recently returned from a five-day trip to Afghanistan.