House GOP leaders are set to unveil a new “Contract with America” this week that will define the goals of the Republican Party and lay out in detail the agenda they will pursue if they win control of the House and possibly, the Senate. Party spokesmen confirmed to The Hill
Monday that they will unveil the new contract in Virginia on Thursday.
Based on leaks that emerged on Monday, the new document will represent nothing less than a rollback of the entire Obama agenda on healthcare, finance, and taxes.
The contract is modeled after the 1994 “Contract with America,” a document commonly credited with allowing the GOP to take control of the House that year and hold it until 2006. The new contract will borrow many of the ideas that have percolated up from the grass-roots tea party movement that stunned many Republicans this year with its performance in state primaries.
The most reliable projects thus far indicate that Republicans could win more than the 40 House seats they need to retake the House. Since the upset victory of Christine O’Donnell in the Delaware Senate primary last week, some have suggested that the GOP cannot take the Senate. But criticism of O’Donnell seems to have had the opposite effect, invigorating an already angry grass-roots movement and propelling a flood of donations into her campaign fund.
Republicans also are expected to increase their numbers in the Senate, though winning a majority in the upper chamber would be more difficult.
What’s in the new contract? House Minority Leader John Boehner has called for a two-year freeze in tax rates and a reduction in spending to 2008 levels. The Obama administration wants to extend middle-class tax cuts, but has indicated it would allow the taxes on families with incomes above $250,000 annually and individuals who earn more than $200,000 a year to go up.
The other big item will be the effort to repeal Obamacare, or at least severely defund its programs. Some Republicans have pressed for repeal of the healthcare reform law in favor of other types of reform. Still another program that could be on the chopping block would be the new Wall Street reform.
Republican candidates won't sign the new governing document as GOP candidates did in a highly publicized event in 1994, according to The Hill. But the new contract will provide the party with a list of items to take to voters ahead of the midterm elections in which Republicans hope to make major gains.
The new contract is ostensibly the result of a three-month-long listening session with the public online and through town hall meetings, dubbed "America Speaking Out," CNN reported, and is intended to show that House Republicans would have a governing agenda if rewarded with enough votes.
Though Republican leaders have stressed that they will not ignore the concerns of social conservatives, a senior GOP leadership aide working on the project told CNN that the new contract is mostly an economic reform documents.
Republican leaders plan to brief rank-and-file House members Wednesday on the details of the plan, which is being refined, according to the GOP sources.
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