September 20th, 2010
03:52 PM ET
4 years ago

House Republicans to unveil campaign blueprint this week

A senior GOP leadership aide working on the House Republicans' new agenda tells CNN that the project will focus mostly on economic priorities.
A senior GOP leadership aide working on the House Republicans' new agenda tells CNN that the project will focus mostly on economic priorities.

Washington (CNN) – House Republicans plan to unveil what amounts to a campaign blueprint on Thursday in suburban Virginia, GOP sources have told CNN.

The much anticipated announcement comes after a nearly three-month-long listening session with the public online and through town hall meetings, dubbed "America Speaking Out," and is intended to show that House Republicans would have a governing agenda if rewarded with majority control in the congressional elections on November 2.

Many GOP strategists call such an agenda - like the 1994 Contract with America - a critical missing ingredient for Republicans this election season to help give voters a reason to vote for GOP lawmakers, not just against Democrats.


Republican leaders plan to brief rank-and-file House members Wednesday on the details of the plan, which is still being refined, according to the GOP sources.

Unlike the Contract with America in 1994, which was presented with a big signing ceremony on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, House Republican leaders will lay out the details of the new plan during a news conference at a hardware story in Sterling, Virginia, following a meeting with small-business leaders, sources said.

A senior GOP leadership aide working on the project told CNN that it will focus mostly on economic priorities like creating jobs and reducing spending.

Themes covered in the agenda also include health care, national security and reform of Congress itself, according to the senior GOP aide.

While the Contract with America was 10 items, the new plan is expected to be about 20, organized under the five themes, according to the GOP aide.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican deputy whip in the House, had tentatively dubbed the plan "A Commitment to America," but the GOP leadership aide said the name is likely to change.

Leaders have described the plan as a "governing agenda" for the top issues facing Americans. Although the House is likely to wrap up its current session by the end of this month, Republican leaders are framing the blueprint as a list of proposals the House should be voting on before it goes home for the November elections.

While many Republicans say presenting an agenda document is crucial, others aren't so sure.

A House GOP strategist highly involved in getting Republicans elected told CNN it was important to abide by the so-called "80-20 rule," meaning "the election is 80 percent about Democrats and 20 percent about us."

"This election needs to remain a referendum on [President] Obama, [House Speaker] Pelosi and the Democrats, but voters need to be aware that Republicans are a viable alternative and we are ready to govern," the GOP strategist said.

The senior GOP leadership aide said that about two-thirds of the items in the plan are actual legislative proposals. Other ideas include actions that Republicans believe the House should take, but don't require a vote. For example, one item would insist that all House members get 72 hours to read bills before floor votes.

Proposals similar to House Minority Leader John Boehner's plan to freeze all tax rates at current levels for two years and cut spending back to 2008 levels will be included, the sources said.

Boehner, R-Ohio, and other GOP leaders are likely to use the limited procedural options they have as the minority party to try to force House floor votes this week on some of the proposals.

Democratic aides on Capitol Hill dismissed the upcoming GOP agenda as nothing new, saying Republicans are offering the same policies they championed when they ran the House.

House Democratic leaders have been sending reporters "fact sheets" that push back at what they call the actual GOP agenda, which they describe as tax cuts for the rich and outsourcing jobs.

"No matter how (Republicans) package it, Americans know the real Republican agenda," Nadeam Elshami, a spokesman for Pelosi, told CNN.

"Republicans want to privatize Social Security, ship American jobs overseas and give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. Democrats will protect Social Security, give tax cuts to the middle class and 'Make it in America.'"


Filed under: House Republicans
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Canuck

    Anyone who makes less than $250,000 per year and who votes Republican just does not understand what is going on.

    September 20, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Jim El Paso Tx

    Let see....# 1 Tax cuts for big business and the wealthy. # 2 screw the middle class. #3 spread FEAR FEAR FEAR. Where or when have we heard this crap before????????

    September 20, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. Orlando Patriot

    Let's remember that Republicans "lost their way" and fell into the trap that growth in government, and related spending, was preferred. That is why the country spiraled out of control and also the reason why Obama was elected (Note: Obama was not voted in FOR his policies but rather people in aggregate voted AGAINST the Republican Party). FINALLY it looks like Republicans have awoken. As Ronald Reagan said "Government is NOT the answer to your problem – Government IS the problem".

    The Republicans have one more chance to save this country. Smaller government, less government spending, and giving business an atmosphere to do what they do best. Calvin Coolidge once said "the business of America is business". What is was basically saying is the only way to have economic growth is to have private sector growth. Enough said.

    September 20, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. rs

    Add to their list:
    * ending Social Security
    * ending Medicare and Medicaid
    * ending unemployment compensation
    *ending the U.S. Department of Education
    *proposing U.S. Constitutional Amendments to alter the 14th and 17th Amendments
    * making homosexuality illegal (as per Montana GOP)
    *endless taxpayer funded wealthy welfare

    Republicans- Just too radical for America

    September 20, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. Four and The Door

    The much anticipated announcement comes after a nearly three-month long listening session with the public on-line and through town hall meetings, dubbed "America Speaking Out."
    ______________________________________________________
    This effort to listen to what Americans want instead of just talking to the union bosses, political donors and political advisors is one of the reasons Republicans will enjoy majorities in The House and The Senate in the next congress. Americans have been very vocal about what we want to see and the Democrats have not listened.

    September 20, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  6. NVa Native

    We know by the Repub politicians actions – or actually "in-actions" – their agenda has been focusing on and promoting the failure of our American President and the US economy. And stalling all of Obama's and the majority in Congress' efforts to save the American middle and working class from economic colapse.
    It will be interesting to see if the GOP is brave enough to tell the truth to the Amreican public about what their "new agenda" will be.
    Will the GOP start earning their paycheck? Will they actually do their job, and end their "strike" against the American people.
    If history is any indication the answer will again and always will be "NO".

    September 20, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. Shawn

    OK. So I think I know what is going to be on the agenda.
    1. Cut taxes and do not let the Bush tax cuts expire
    2. Reduce the size of government to help pay down the debt
    3. Remove all regulations and let the free market reign

    What more do they have to offer. this si the same GOP philosophy that they always use. Nothing new will be seen in this plan nor will it solve the problems of this country.

    Tax cuts have been in place for 10 years and no more jobs were created. Although I do not like big governement it still creates jobs so if you eliminate government programs you are adding to the unemployment rate. Reducing regulations and letting the free market do as they please got us into this mess in the first place.

    September 20, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  8. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    America can't survive another GOP agenda. Looked how bad things got under the Bush/Cheney agenda. It'll take both terms of President Obama's administrations to even make a dent in the damage the Republicans did to our country.

    September 20, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. LB in FL

    Oh, this ought to be good and take about 1 second. The GOP plan for America's future:

    "No".

    Next......

    September 20, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. Marty, FL

    Of course, more of the same old tax cuts for the rich. How will Boehner propose to pay for it? Add trillions more to the national debt without a way to pay for it (again)? Is the media even going to hold them accountable this time?

    The disastrous nonsense of Boehner/McConnell would have us return to another Hooverville Depression by cutting off Americans trying to recover. Please learn from our history or be doomed to repeat it.

    September 20, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. GI Joe

    Let me guess:

    1. Lower taxes for the wealthy (the 1st 2 tax cuts didn't create jobs, maybe the 3rd one will).

    2. Lower the benefits for social security recipients (they are too poor to vote anyway).

    That about sums it up. Oh – raise congress' salary and benefits, and deregulate everything. I guess that's 4, not just 2. WOW.

    September 20, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  12. George Drumm III

    I'm just curious as to why the GOP is so desperate to preserve the tax cuts for those making over $250k? Those in this income bracket represent less than 3% of the voting population and have virtually no political power except for the ability to throw money at candidates to support their re-election campaigns. In the meantime, we have to borrow the money to replace those missing revenues which comes to the tune of $700 billion added to the deficit. Is it worth that so a few gov't officials can run hundreds of those nasty attack ads on TV over the next few months?

    September 20, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  13. ThinkAgain

    Let me guess: tax cuts! And what they mean, is tax cuts for the wealthy, with that tired old line of "to stimulate job creation."

    As we all know, cutting taxes for the wealthy creates job – overseas where labor is cheap and environmental regulations don't exist.

    Because really, folks, if Republican economic policies (let alone military and foreign) really worked, then at the end of Bush's 8 years in office, our economy wouldn't have been in the toilet and millions of Americans wouldn't have been laid off.

    GOP = Nothing by tried-and-failed policies

    September 20, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  14. Dt

    No need for an agenda gop. its the same thing u guys say over and over. We already heard it. Blah, blah, blah

    September 20, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. MrAmerica

    So now the republicans have some ideas to do something? Where have they been the past 10 years? Their ideas and leadership got us into the mess and all they've done is sit on their butts and say NO to any ideas coming out of the country. How convenient that they create this plan in time for the elections.

    September 20, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. Klaxon McFlinderginder

    The GOP strategy in full: Keep our own people chummed up in a frothing state of fear and rage, villifying anyone who has even the slightest difference of opinion. Put forward no real ideas or policies (because they don't have any), only spout pure negativity.

    September 20, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. Clwyd

    It is about time the repulsive republicans of the Party of No got their agenda before the American public. If you remember they said they would be doing this in June, then August and then right after the elections so we have been waiting. Please, just don't be more de-regulations of Big Oil, Big Business and Big Wall Street along with keeping the tax breaks for the rich which only adds to our deficit since when you and bush passed it 9 years ago there was no funding to make up for the loss of revenue! You almost bankrupted our country once and we don't need you to have a second try to try and get it right this time!

    September 20, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  18. ThinkAgain

    Let's see ... tax cuts for the wealthy ... cuts in social services to reduce the deficits created by tax cuts for the wealthy and two unfunded wars ... further division of the American public along religious lines ... continued upward flow of wealth from the Middle Class to the rich ... perhaps another war, just to keep Haliburton and the other military-industrial complex folks happy ...

    Gee, we already did that and it really did a number on our country!

    Republicans really do believe that Americans have the attention span of a gnat and the emotional maturity of a third-grader ...

    September 20, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    "A Commitment to America."

    It's more like a commitment to destroy America. While the G NO P voted NO on everything the last 20 months, they should've been putting out these proposals then. Too little too late in my opinion. Telling us what you intend on doing, while you're not actually doing anything now is not going to get you my vote. If the G NO P spent more time on governing rather than worrying about getting elected, they may have a foot to stand on. Currently, their just a bunch of limbless torsos.

    September 20, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. Anonymous

    Will they call it "The contract on the Middle Class"?They have already picked your pockets and sold out your jobs.Stop the scumbag Koch Brothers now.

    September 20, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. Blkman

    Right...........once again they (republican's) think telling LIES to America will get them a majority. NOT this time u yoyo's

    September 20, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  22. GL

    Many GOP strategists call such an agenda – like the 1994 Contract with America – a critical missing ingredient for Republicans this election season to help give voters a reason to vote for GOP lawmakers, not just against Democrats.

    The problem with Republicans is they still think it is 1994 and still living in that in the 19 century. It is 2010 and Republicans have no new ideas to offer the American but the same plan of the 19 century. Republicans have not move into the 21 century yet and their contract with America will be out dated with 19 century IDEAS!

    September 20, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. Rush Goebbels

    Will they call it "The contract on the Middle Class"?

    September 20, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. sonny chapman

    Let me guess; long on flag waving but short on detail.

    September 20, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  25. a in austin

    Will that 2008 spending include the costs of the wars, tax cuts, and prescription drug law? None of those items were ever in the budget....thus the deficit. This should be interesting.

    September 20, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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