GOP Unveils Its Midterm Agenda

McCarthy rolls out Republicans' 'Commitment to America,' focusing on economy, border security
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 23, 2022 11:46 AM CDT
McCarthy Intros GOP's 'Commitment to America'
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks in Monongahela, Pa., on Friday. McCarthy joined with other House Republicans to unveil their "Commitment to America" agenda.   (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy on Friday directly confronted President Biden and the party in power, choosing battleground Pennsylvania to unveil a midterm election agenda with sweeping Trump-like promises, despite the House GOP's sometimes spotty record of delivering and governing in Congress. McCarthy, who's poised to seize the speaker's gavel if Republicans win control of the House in November, hopes to replicate the strategy that Speaker Newt Gingrich used to spark voter enthusiasm and sweep House control in a 1994 landslide. The House GOP's "Commitment to America" gives a nod to that earlier era but updates it in the age of Donald Trump, with economic, border security, and social policies to rouse the former president's well of supporters, per the AP.

"What we're going to roll out today is a 'Commitment to America' in Washington—not Washington, DC, but Washington County, Pa.," McCarthy said at a manufacturing facility, standing with a cross-section of other lawmakers. "Because it's about you, it's not about us." He offered a portrait of party unity despite the uneasy coalition that makes up the House minority—and the Republican Party itself. Propelled by Trump's "Make America Great Again" voters, the Republicans need to pick up just a few seats to win back control of the House and replace Speaker Nancy Pelosi, though McCarthy's ability to lead the House is far from guaranteed. McCarthy spent more than a year pulling together the House GOP's often warring factions—from the far-right MAGA to what's left of the more centrist ranks—to produce a mostly agreed-upon agenda.

Gingrich has been working with McCarthy and his team to craft the style and substance of the proposal. Mostly, the GOP pocket card hits broad strokes—energy independence, security, and an end to liberal social policies, particularly in schooling. Conservative Republicans, however, complain privately that McCarthy isn't leaning hard enough into their priorities, as he tries to appeal to a broader swath of voters and hold the party together. Dems, meanwhile, aren't impressed at all with the GOP's agenda. "Long on slogans and short on details," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told union workers in Pittsburgh on Friday, according to excerpts of his speech. "That's because the true details of Republicans' agenda are too frightening for most American voters."

(More House Republicans stories.)

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