House Republicans are making their strongest pitch to midterm voters yet with their ‘Commitment to America’ agenda that focuses on law and order, education and the economy.
It includes proposals to fight the current crime wave, combat high inflation, create jobs and cut federal regulations. The plan also calls for making the U.S. energy independent and shoring up the domestic supply chain.
“Republicans have a plan for a new direction,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, said in a promotional video to preview the agenda. “We simply cannot afford two more years of business as usual in Washington. We need common-sense change now.”
The GOP’s legislative roadmap, which was inspired by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s 1994 “Contract with America,” will be formally unveiled by Mr. McCarthy and other House Republicans at an event Friday in the Pittsburgh suburbs. Copies of it were widely circulated Thursday after it was posted temporarily on the GOP leader’s website and swiftly taken down.
On public safety, Republicans want to recruit 200,000 more police officers nationwide and advance policies to strengthen border security.
House Republicans are also touting their “Parents’ Bill of Rights” to give Americans more say in what goes on in public schools. The legislation would expand school choice, provide post-pandemic resources for students and block male-born transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports.
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Mr. Gingrich, whose “Contract for America” ushered in the first House GOP majority since the 1950s, was consulted by GOP lawmakers who drafted the party’s new legislative vision. But Mr. Gingrich said the document was a breakthrough designed entirely by the new generation of Republican leaders.
“This was more sophisticated, has more member involvement, and is a real blueprint for governing. It’s very, very impressive,” Mr. Gingrich told The Washington Times. “This is entirely this generation’s breakthrough. It’s not mine.”
The blueprint unveiled by Mr. McCarthy was also shaped by several task forces he created to discern and fine-tune Republican priorities on issues including climate change, China’s rise and threats to American freedom.
Republicans are proposing mandating voter ID at the polls and increasing access for election observers. Mr. McCarthy also vowed to end proxy voting in Congress, which became a widely used alternative during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On health care, the GOP plan seeks to expand affordable options and create more transparency in pricing and care.
Much of the agenda focused on the country’s national security plan, including mitigating illegal immigration, the rise of China, and violent crime.
GOP lawmakers vowed to close loopholes on catch-and-release policies, fully fund law enforcement at the southern border and spend on the infrastructure and technology needed to prevent illegal crossings.
The Republicans said they would, while “permanently criminalizing all illicit fentanyl,” crack down on prosecutors and district attorneys who are lax on crime.
Finally, GOP leadership would seek to establish a select committee on China issues.
On holding the Biden administration to account, Republicans want to investigate government corruption and abuse of power, while tackling the nation’s debt.
Republicans are expected to retake the House majority in the November midterms, when they need a net gain of only five seats to flip the lower chamber.
Democrats, meanwhile, have labeled the GOP as a party of extremists, mirroring President Biden’s warning to voters that MAGA Republicans are a threat to democracy and decency.
“The contrast between House Democrats’ commitment to our Constitution and the American people versus extreme MAGA Republicans’ commitment to protecting their own political power has never been more evident,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar, California Democrat and vice-chairman of the caucus.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that the GOP agenda threatens the right to vote across the country, calling it “extreme.”
“The extreme agenda they’ll be putting out makes it harder for Americans to vote, would purge eligible voters from polls, and give extreme MAGA state legislators absolute power to change the rules of elections, including after the election,” Mrs. Pelosi said Thursday.
Democrats have grown somewhat more confident about their chances of holding onto the House majority, citing a newly-minted momentum around Mr. Biden’s uptick in approval ratings and several recent legislative victories. However, Mr. Biden remains unpopular with a majority of voters and Democrats face headwinds from voters whose top concerns include inflation and crime.