Tax, spending cuts top GOP campaign-year 'Pledge'
Wednesday, September 22, 2021 7:17 PM

Related Stories

(Source: Associated Press/AP Online)By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS

WASHINGTON - Six weeks before midterm elections, House Republicans vowed to cut taxes and federal spending, repeal President Barack Obama's health care law and ban federal funding of abortion as part of a campaign manifesto designed to propel them to victory in November and a majority in the next Congress.

The "Pledge to America," circulated to GOP lawmakers Wednesday, emphasizes job creation and spending control, as well as changing the way Congress does business. It steered clear of controversial issues such as Social Security and Medicare, big drivers of deficit spending.

It pairs some familiar Republican ideas - such as deep spending cuts, medical liability reform and stricter border enforcement - with an anti-government call to action that draws on tea party themes and echoes voters' disgruntlement with the economy and Obama's leadership.

"Regarding the policies of the current government, the governed do not consent," reads a preamble to the agenda. "An arrogant and out-of-touch government of self-appointed elites makes decisions, issues mandates, and enacts laws without accepting or requesting the input of the many."

Republicans are favored to add substantially to their ranks, perhaps enough to seize control of the House. Details of their plan emerged as President Barack Obama tried to reintroduce voters to his health care overhaul law, a signature issue of his first two years that Americans don't much like or understand. Democrats, who pursued overhaul for decades, have been surprised by its unpopularity.

GOP leaders are set to go public with their plan Thursday at a hardware store in suburban Virginia, choosing a location outside the nation's capital that's in keeping with the plan's grassroots emphasis.

It calls for every bill to cite its specific constitutional authority, a vote on any government regulation that costs more than $100 million annually and a freeze on hiring federal workers except security personnel. It also has a "read the bill" provision mandating that legislation be publicly available for three days before a vote.

Officials have described the agenda as the culmination of an Internet- and social networking-powered project they launched earlier this year to give voters the chance to say what Congress should do. The "America Speaking Out" project collected 160,000 ideas and received 1 million votes and comments on the proposals, they said.

Much internal debate ensued among party leaders, rank-and-file lawmakers and GOP activists about the contents of the agenda, including whether it should include a reference to "family values" - which some strategists argued could alienate the independent voters Republicans are courting.

They agreed to include the abortion provision and a vaguely worded statement on social issues: "We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values."

The plan recalled Republicans' 1994 "Contract With America," a list of heavily poll-tested proposals they unveiled about six weeks before the GOP gained 54 House seats and seized control of the House for the first time in 40 years.

But the rollout reflects a national mood far different from the one 16 years ago, and an electorate that national surveys show is fed up with its representatives and disillusioned about government.

"The Contract was done at a time when it was acceptable for a relatively small number of elected officials and trusted aides to go behind closed doors, come up with some ideas, test them in polls and then announce them on the steps of the Capitol," said Michael Franc of the conservative Heritage Foundation, who was a House aide during those days.

"If you did that now, you'd see yourself being hung in effigy most places. ... (Republicans) can't afford to come across as another case of 'government knows best,'" Franc said.

Republican strategists advising House leaders have told them that presenting their own ideas for governing - laser-focused on jobs and recharging the economy - is crucial to their electoral chances.

"It is not enough for the Republican Party just simply to point out that President Obama and the Democrats have failed," said pollster David Winston. "What Americans are looking for is a plan that they have confidence in that will work."

Democrats dismissed the GOP plan as recycled ideas that would further exacerbate the nation's problems.

"Republicans want to return to the same failed economic policies that hurt millions of Americans and threatened our economy," said Nadeam Elshami, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The plan proposes creating jobs through tax cuts, including permanently extending George W. Bush's reductions for people at every income level, now slated to expire in January, and a 20 percent deduction for small businesses. It also calls for repeal of an unpopular new provision enacted to help pay for the health care law that requires nearly 40 million businesses to file tax forms for every vendor that sells them more than $600 in goods.

It offers an array of proposals to limit spending, including cutting back to 2008 levels and placing a hard cap on future government expenditures.

Republicans are calling for replacing the health care law by letting people buy health care coverage outside their states, expanding state programs that cover high-risk patients who can't otherwise get insurance and expanding the use of tax-advantaged savings accounts to cover medical costs.

And the plan also focuses on security, including calling for denying terrorists so-called "Miranda rights," opposing the release of Guantanamo Bay detainees into the United States and full funding for missile defense programs.

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.



Symbol :


Market news:

  • Historic political meeting under way in NKorea Sep 28, 2021 01:43 AM

    • SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea said Tuesday its biggest political gathering in 30 years was under way and crucial developments were expected, hours after leader Kim Jong Il appointed his youngest son as a military general in what was seen as part of a succession plan.
    • Kim had been expected to appoint his youngest son, Kim Jong Un, to key positions to groom him as his heir to power.
    • Delegates to the convention were meeting in Pyongyang to elect the party's top leadership, hours after state media announced that Kim Jong Un was promoted to army general.
      • NKorea says 'historic' political meeting under way Sep 28, 2021 01:22 AM

        • SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea's state media says a "crucial" development is under way in Pyongyang during the country's historic political convention.
        • State TV said in a broadcast monitored in Seoul that leader Kim Jong Il was reappointed as general secretary of the Workers' party at the political gathering
          • NKorea's Kim Jong Il promotes son to general Sep 28, 2021 01:16 AM

            • SEOUL, South Korea - North Korean leader Kim Jong Il promoted his youngest son to army general in an announcement Tuesday seen as official confirmation that the young man is being groomed to succeed his father.
            • The dispatch on North Korean state media came just hours before the nation was to hold the largest Workers' Party convention in 30 years, a meeting where Kim Jong Un was expected to make his political debut.
            • The much-delayed meeting in Pyongyang has begun, China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported late Tuesday morning, citing Minju Choson, a government-run North Korean newspaper.
              • 'Titanic' co-star Gloria Stuart dies at 100 Sep 28, 2021 01:06 AM

                • LOS ANGELES - Gloria Stuart, the 1930s Hollywood beauty who gave up acting for 30 years and later became the oldest Academy Award acting nominee as the spunky survivor in "Titanic," has died.
                • Stuart died of respiratory failure Sunday night at her Los Angeles home, her daughter, Sylvia Thompson, said Monday.
                • The actress had been diagnosed with lung cancer five years ago and had beaten breast cancer about 20 years ago, Thompson said.
                  • Cutler, Bears beat Packers 20-17 Sep 27, 2021 11:56 PM

                    • CHICAGO - Jay Cutler threw for 221 yards, Brian Urlacher forced a key fumble and Chicago took advantage of a team-record-tying 17 penalties by the Packers to beat Green Bay 20-17 on Monday night.
                    • The Packers' James Jones lost a fumble on a hit by Brian Urlacher in the final minutes.
                    • Then Morgan Burnett was called for pass interference on Earl Bennett, setting up the winning 19-yard field goal by Robbie Gould with 4 seconds left.

                      More news


    Recent Estimates

AnalystFirm NameSymbolEPS Estimate
gofasterstripesMr Lak CTXS$0.25
anamrdaNA JNJ$1.15