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. Thank God!

    After two years without any real ideas or contributions by the GOP, thank God they are here to step in now and save us all.

    September 20, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. J Farrow

    Can't wait to hear this set of ideas. I am quite sure they will sound very familiar as the same old Republican talking points they have pushed since Reagan was in office. By the way, not one of the items in the previous Contract with America pushed in 1994 came to pass. The Republican politicians are so disingenuous ( and I am being nice).

    September 20, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. Snow

    This is excellent news. The Republicans have been listening for three months to the American people, while obama and the liberal demorats have been talking over the people. Pushing a radical agenda that the vast majority of Americans do not want and thinking they are immune to the wrath of the voters. Well, come November,alot of them are going to get the message loud and clear.

    September 20, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. Republican Agenda Is Quite Simple . . .

    No taxes for the rich; No help for the middle class; crush the poor.

    September 20, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. FM

    The agenda coming at the eleventh hour???? Where have they been? And why didn't they come with it when it was needed! Do they think Americans have a lot of time to let some go-by without them coming with something!!! People are more smarter than GOP think they are. De mint was right. The party needs to die. They don't take things seriously!

    September 20, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. masgap

    throw the GOP bums out

    September 20, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. Ken in NC

    WOW...The GOP has been unveiling what amounts to a blueprint for something every month since they got their butts spanked in NOvember of 2008. Will they really put something out there Thursday? Tune into FOX news on Thursday to see. Ya gotta love the Republican Party. They are always good for a long needed humor spell. I mean, between their "Huck from Bee", the "Mit from Romney", the "Half of Gov. from Alaska", and the "Witch from SALT", there's never a dull moment. If you ever tire of these people you always got The Sharron of Angle, The Jim of DeMint, The Rush of Limbutt, the Dawn of Hannity and saving the best for last, there is always the Glenn of Beck. Here we have all of America's very best funny people.

    September 20, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. GonzoinHouston

    Yes, the GOP has an agenda and we've all seen it. It's called the W administration. We lived it for 8 years, and we'll spend the next 20 recovering from it. No thanks!

    September 20, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. BlackPanther's 2020

    Let's hear it , because we already know what their plan is , tax cuts for the wealthy , no help for the poor or middle class , no help for infrastucture , repeal the healthcare bill , and reestablish all laws that were in place during the Bush ll years , and steal all the money as we possibly can while we're in power .....................yeah we heard their solutions before........how well did that work out for us !

    September 20, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. carlos

    tax cuts tax cuts tax cuts and LIKE HELL WE WILL as said by the house janitor boner.................

    September 20, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. H.K. Anders

    The new Republican governing agenda... hmm... what might it contain?

    Um, let me guess: tax cuts, deregulation, and tort reform.

    Oh yes, and impeaching President Obama for... well, they'll come up with something.

    September 20, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. Limbaugh is a liberal

    The GOP has an agenda. It is exactly the same as their agenda was for the past administration: lower taxes for the rich, give government handouts to corporate buddies, invasion of privacy and dictate of protestant dogma in all aspects of people's lives, and more deregulation of wall street.
    And that turned out so well for all of us...

    September 20, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. Rick

    If this new "Agenda" holds up like the "Contract with America" that never materalized after the election I will be shocked and awed. The GOP used this "Contract" that Newt and Co. dreamed up to get elected and didn't fulfill one item. You notice Newt and his fellow cronies are on the outside trying to get back in. Tax cut, Tax cut ,Tax cut right back into the mess they created under Bush. Oh, sure I want them back in power! Like I want another hole in my head!

    September 20, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  14. Ben in Texas

    There were all kinds of suggestions posted on their web site. I posted quite a few myself. However, in the end, the GOBP will only hear those things it wants to hear.

    BIG SURPRISE! The GOBP will discover from their website that Americans want us to continue welfare for the rich, deregulation of defacto monopolies, extreme government interference in the private reproductive and sex lives of individuals, and the pursuit of ultimate theocratic fascism.

    Hello, GOBP? Did you miss my suggestions?

    September 20, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. Ron in Califonia

    WOW! One gets the feeling you don't like the Republican's. As they say when you are robbing peter to pay Paul, you can count on Paul's support. So let m ask...Is there such a thing as a free lunch? Seems the Soviet Union found there wasn't, Cuba is imploding and moving modestly to capitalism. China is already a capitalist country they just won't admit it. Hey Libs no free lunch. As the private sector tax base gets smaller all those wonderful Obama programs will implode.. Grow the private sector by investing in it directly by keeping taxes low and keep entitlements under control. You may like what Obama is doing now but I'll bet your grandchildren will not like the hefty bill they will have to pay.

    September 20, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. Peter E

    Okay... so they propose that tax cuts be continued for two years and cut spending... And they want to convince us that any of that is somehow different than what the democrats have also porposed we do?
    Oh but CNN, and the public love conflict and love to throw around talking point myths rather than actual facts. 'Democrats will raise your taxes, give government bailouts, and mandate gay marriage, while republicans will start wars, outlaw Islam, and deport all immigrants.' Of course, none of those myths are actually true, but it's easier to shout them than the actual facts.

    September 20, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. William Jefferson

    Prediction – it will be a few pages with bumper sticker phrases like "shrink government" and "reign in spending" and in bold letters that they can easily ranscribe onto their hands..."cut taxes."

    It will have no actual agenda items in it, and will skip the parts about trying to deny Americans health care coverage, gutting social security and medicare, and will completely skip the handouts they intend for big oil, phama, insurance, gas, coal, bankers and Wall Street hedge fund managers, it will skip the part about continuing where they left off with gutting all regulatory agencies, especially ones that oversee finance and extractive industry, and will skip the embarassing parts about thinking global warming is a hoax or that they don't beleive in evolution. Oh, and they do beleive in Santa.

    September 20, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. Peter E

    I still am waiting for the 'proof' that tax cuts work. Why don't I see it? Because there is no proof! You can look up the data yourself easily too. Tax rates have steadily declined for decades. And yet in the same time period we've had recessions every 6-12 years, with corresponding rise in unemployment. There is ZERO correlation between tax cuts and job growth. Rich people kept getting richer, and yet they don't use their money to hire more people. Their tax cuts did not result in lowered unemployment. No data shows that it has. Giving them even more money is a waste.

    September 20, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. Fair is Fair

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

    Oh really? That would make you a one-issue voter then, right?

    Would you go so far as to say, therefore, "All of the 47% of Americans who pay no federal income tax should vote democrat"?

    There was a famous American who once said something to the effect of "Once the population is allowed to vote themselves monies from the treasury, the Republic will be doomed."

    September 20, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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