After the Democratic Party made strides labeling the GOP as the “party of no,” Republicans are embarking on a new strategy to define their opposition as the party of “too much” in hopes of getting traction on their policy prescriptions.
House and Senate Republican Conference Chairmen Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R.-Tenn.) held a session with reporters on the House side of the Capitol to unveil their messaging Wednesday.
Pence said that “with some degree of cooperation” between Republicans in the House and Senate, the GOP would aggressively “challenge assumptions and content of the president’s budget.” According to the plan, Senate Republicans would be tasked with crafting alternatives to specific liberal proposals, like cap-and-trade, while House Republicans would concentrate on offering an alternative to President Obama’s budget.
“It spends too much, it taxes too much and ultimately borrows too much,” Pence said.
Alexander dutifully repeated in his remarks that American families cannot “afford the Democrats’ spending, the Democrats’ taxing and the goverment’s borrowing.” He also briefly discussed a proposal he was working on to limit cap-and-trade regulations only to power plants, instead of across the board.
Less than an hour after their presser ended, a group of House and Senate Republican gathered on the Senate side of the Capitol for another press event to criticize the president’s plan to create jobs.
Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter was leading the charge and said he had a way the GOP could create up to 2 million jobs “without dropping taxpayer dollars out of airplanes.” Three House Republicans stood beside him, along with Sen. James Inhofe (R.-Okla) to promote a “No Cost Stimulus” bill to open more jobs in the energy sector by lifting restrictions in the Outer Continental Shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, among other things.
He admitted the prospects of Democratic leadership calling the bill for a vote were low, but said he was hopeful it would be something the public would embrace.
A reporter asked Vitter to comment on the prospect of a second stimulus, something Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is reported to be “open” to considering.
“It’s great to leave that door open as long as we can walk through it with this kind of an approach,” Vitter responded.
Newly installed Louisiana Rep. John Fleming, a Republican, was equally cheerful. “It’s nice of them to attract attention to our idea,” he joked.