After a year that featured some unproductive infighting, Republicans in the House are trying to unify this year, Politico
It looks like the issue of jobs will be the No. 1 target for GOP House members. “Our focus over the last 12 months has been on jobs,” House Speaker John Boehner said on the “Fox News Sunday” program. “Our focus over the course of the next 12 months is going to be on jobs.”
But it’s not clear that everyone’s on board for jobs as job one. Two top Republican consultants diverged over whether jobs should be the paramount issue at the House Republican Conference’s annual retreat over the weekend. Frank Luntz said yes, but David Winston said no, a source who was present told Politico.
Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor went about the jobs issue slightly differently.
“We really have to be much better at laying out a vision of what we stand for,” he told Politico. “And that means we have to have a message that sort of reflects in a very simple way that small-business job creation is what the taxpayers of this country can benefit most by.”
Republicans have other issues that seem no-brainers to unite members of Congress: Keystone XL pipeline, domestic energy production, infrastructure spending, and tax reform.
At the retreat, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan began asking his colleagues how far they want to go in spending cuts this year. Last year, Republicans in Congress took some political heat for approving reductions in Medicare and Medicaid. But Cantor told reporters that Ryan’s budget blueprint for fiscal 2013 “will be consistent with where we were last year.”
Republicans realize that laying the blame on President Barack Obama won’t be enough. They will have to offer policy proposals that combat Obama’s populist strategy.
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