Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Tuesday he has begun talks with his legislative staff about drafting a conservative alternative to a possible federal bailout of Detroit if the White House and congressional Democrats push to rescue the city from financial ruin.
During a phone interview on Glenn Beck's radio show, Paul said he might push a Republican plan to assist Detroit that would emphasize conservative pet policies to stimulate economic growth and bring the troubled municipality back to fiscal well-being.
"I think there is a way, in an economically depressed zone, to have some tax forbearance, reduce some taxes, encourage people to come in and take abandoned property," he said. "I will not be for borrowing any money from China to try to bail out Detroit, particularly if they continue the same policies."
Paul also said he hopes the proposal could generate support for Republicans in the overwhelmingly Democratic city.
"Maybe the people that have been voting for the Democrats for 50 years in Detroit -- who ran the once-great city into the ground -- maybe they'd choose some new leadership, and the Republican Party would have a resurgence in Detroit," he said. "But that may be wishful thinking."
Last month, Paul scoffed at the idea of a Detroit bailout, saying the administration would only save the city "over my dead body." Some congressional Democrats from Michigan have indicated they would seek federal aid, but Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has denied that the administration is interested in a bailout.
Detroit, once one of the world's most powerful industrial centers, is the largest American city to have filed for bankruptcy in the country's history.