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. water bearer

    Oh come on! I can give you their "agenda" right here, right now:

    More tax breaks for the wealthy
    Repeal health care reform
    Repeal financial reform
    Reduce regulations on financial industry, health insurance companies & the oil industry
    Keep the war going in Afghanistan as long as possible to transfer more money to the military industrial complex
    No gay marriage
    Try to repeal a woman's right to choose
    Don't end DADT
    Increase anti-Islamic sentiment as much as possible while trying desparately to appear to distance themselves from it
    Increase racial hatred as much as possible while trying desparately to appear to distance themselves from it.

    Have I left anything out?

    September 20, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. Da Professor

    "Eager to prove they have a governing agenda if rewarded with majority control, House Republicans plan to unveil what amounts to a campaign blueprint"

    Now that should be interesting. But, will it be their real agenda or their phony agenda?

    Real agenda (as usual) - Cut taxes for the wealthy, screw the middle class, promise that benefits will trickle down, enable more jobs to be sent overseas, find a new war to fight with promises that there really really are weapons of mass destruction there, eliminate health care, social security, and minimum wages. Lets see, what have I missed - hmmm - add another 10 feet to the wall along the Mexican border?

    September 20, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  3. 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.

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

    Same old plan reduce government and more tax cuts for the rich. I bet the plan will not address what government programs they will cut and how are they going to paid for the tax cuts for the rich. They have the same old plan of the 19 century that got us in this mess just using different talking points.

    September 20, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. Adalbert

    No kidding. The party of NO have an agenda?

    September 20, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. GL

    Republican leaders are scheduled to brief rank-and-file House members Wednesday in Washington on the details of the policy, which CNN is told is still being refined.

    They had over two years to redefined their plan. The Reublicans party are trying to 21 century fake out!

    September 20, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. Bill from GA

    "America Speaking Out." campaign,

    Also known as: 'Tell us what you want to hear and we will say it'. campaign.

    When you know none of your own ideas will work (they didn't before, except to make the rich richer), just promise to cut taxes and give everybody all that they want, while reducing that evil Big Government.

    September 20, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. stufit

    Will they mention that the recessin began in December, 2007 after the Democrat liberal party had assumed control of Congress in January, 2007. Remember the Minimum Wage raise, some folks said it would lead to a recession, Democrat liberals demeaned and degraded them like they do all of their opponents.

    September 20, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  8. B

    1 The Republicans only agenda, an all out effort to sabotage everything Obama puts fourth in an attempt to make a failed presidency.

    2 Obtain tax breaks for the most affluent 2% in the country to the detriment of the working people of this country.

    3 try to stack the congress with more hard core right wing bigots to continue the – take down the Black President with more of say NO to everything.

    4 Give corporate and Wall Street moguls all of the power they require to control everything to the detrement of everyone else.

    September 20, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Cripple the middle class and give it away to the rich! I think that is what they are planning.

    September 20, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  10. jim

    Put the agenda on hold !!! No need for it.The GURUS just announced the recession ended in June 2009.Wow i must have blinked. I missed the event.Well, another excuse to go out and have a beer.Yeah, like that'll make me feel better.Doesn't anyone else believe we are being manipulated by these folks in the Obama administration? Does anyone believe what garbage they put out? What about the summer recovery myth?

    September 20, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. GL

    Proposals similar to Boehner's plan to freeze all tax rates at current levels for two years and cut spending back to 2008 levels will be included.

    Sound like the same plan to me. Freeze all tax rates at current levels for two year and cut spending back to 2008 levels, BUT NO MENTION HOW THE HELL ARE THEY GOING TO PAY FOR ALL THESE TAX BREAKS!

    So other words, no new plans other then repeal everything President Obama and the Dems proposed. Republicans the American people are not as stupid as you thing we are. So President Obama was right, you Republicans want to go back to the Bush policies of the tax cuts for the rich, no Health Care reform, and deregulations. What a sad day it is going to be if the Republicans win back congress. They will return to the Bush plan.

    September 20, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. scott

    What's their #1 priority? Start a third war, ill prepared and undermanned that they won't finish?
    Or continue to reward American companies that ship jobs to China while touting "that's progress folks".
    Or perhaps feeding the Homeless to the hungry to save money.

    September 20, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. john

    I already know what it is before they annonce it.

    1. Tax cuts for the rich

    2. Deregulate (no laws on corporations)

    3. Repeal health care

    4. Cut spending reduce deficit with no actual plans or real steps to do so

    5. NO to whatever Obama is for!!!!

    I must be psychic

    September 20, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. john

    Can they commit to America not to be such self absorbed lunatics and actually work toward America's best interests even if it is not in their best interests? Don't think so.

    September 20, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  15. Marry

    Dear GOP, you do not have to unveil your agenda. We know what it is:

    “All we can do to make the President fail”

    What we have seen is the GOP and a group of radical tea drinkers, spreading fiction instead of facts, criticizing everything without putting forward better ideas, refusing to disclose the qualifications of their candidates for NOvermber because they have none, talking in sound bites instead of an intelligent discussion about the issues, refusing for years to work and support 98% of people instead of the top 2% that are their real clientele . A group that has nothing positive to show for themselves except extreme useless views that will change immediately to support lobbyists, special interests and corporations the moment they are in and they can dump all the poor souls that voted for them.
    Don’t vote extreme, vote responsible and smart!

    September 20, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. Jimbo (the real one)

    That should prove to be a very short meeting.

    September 20, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  17. one voice

    What, repeal all the important legislation that the Obama Administration has put forth to help the middle class stay in the middle class? What, tax breaks for the MEGA RICH so their Corporations can ship their jobs oversees while adding 800,000 billion to the defecit? What, privitize S.S. so the wallstreet CLOWNS CAN RIPE US OFF AGAIN? I THINK NOT

    September 20, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. T'SAH from Virginia

    "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 still does not mean they have a PLAN!! How can you have a PLAN if you are ONLY listening to the FAR RIGHT/RIGHT????

    And once they release this PLAN – then they will STICK WITH IT TO A TEE when they get to DC!!! Yea, right!!!!

    I cannot wait to see this – I am so EXCITED – almost as excited as Election NIGHT in 2008!!!

    And again – this should have been done by the RepubliCAN'Ts months ago – all it is from paragraph 1 to 5, 6 or 7, etc., is "JUST SAY NO!!!!

    DEMOCRATS: STATE the CASE – UNITE the BASE and after Thursday BREAK DOWN how the RepubliCAN'Ts are going to SAVE America and we will WIN this RACE in November 2010!!!

    This is T'SAH – the Liberal – and I am not the Impersonator and I approve this message!!!

    September 20, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. ron

    We know their plan, and it's nothing new, extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

    September 20, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. ABM

    They need to waste the media's time and our time say the following:
    1) Disrupt & Obstruct the Democratic agenda
    2) Inject right-wing fringe candidates into the election to garner more media hype
    3) Use Palin as an unfiltered and unchecked advocate against President Obama
    4) Protect the rich, the wealthy, the lobbyists, and the corporations
    5) Talk, talk, talk but have not plan or idea how to implement anything worthwhile.
    6) Ignore their consituents and vote along party lines & for special interests
    7) Run to "FOX Republican news" any time you get a chance to cry about the Dems & Obama
    8) Do nothing to help the American people!
    9) Act like school children when you lose to major initiatives (e.g. WSR, HCR) you fought against!
    10) Trample on the constitution and existing laws to serve you own agenda.

    Don't waste my time.

    September 20, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    Let me guess. Tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation of business, less social spending and more war for natural resources and cheap labor to fuel global capitalism. Why do they even bother touting their "new" plan when it will be more of the same ideas that have been tried for 30 years and resulted in the destruction of the middle class? Have a nice day!

    September 20, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. Minnesotan

    The GOP has had only one agenda in their entire life: Get drunk, steal money, lie, cheat, steal and drive the American economy into the ground.

    September 20, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  23. rs

    After reading about rove trashing O'Donnel for her "witchcraft", apparently "Taking Our Counrty Back" for the Republican/Tea Party now is aiming at 1690 (or so). How frightening!

    September 20, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. diridi

    eh, listen, even if you give tax relief to these rich idiots, they do not hire until or unless they know they can make money out of you....so tax these thugs, from GOP.....way to go...they are crying on health care bill...listen, we need to hire more PAs, instead of foreign doctors.....American PAs, pay 120k, they do excellent job. My doctor is a PA(physician Assistant) not MD. o.k. He is the best doctor..

    September 20, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  25. The Unsub

    i won't hold my breath for that.

    September 20, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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