US House GOP Outlines Agenda in Bid for Control in Midterm Elections

WASHINGTON — Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives met Friday inside a warehouse in southwestern Pennsylvania to outline legislation they would seek to enact if voters returned control of that chamber to them after the midterm elections. November term.

Speaking from an HVAC factory in Monongahela, about an hour south of Pittsburgh, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said the first bill he would introduce if elected president would repeal part of a Democratic law he sponsored. funds for the Internal Revenue Service.

“On the first day we’re sworn in, you’re going to see everything change, because in our first bill we’re going to repeal 87,000 IRS agents,” McCarthy said, using a number that Democrats have repeatedly said is not an accurate representation of what the increased funding would do. “Our job is to work for you, not go after you.”

None of the proposals that were outlined came with a price tag showing how much spending a Republican House of Representatives would change compared to current levels. The Republicans also said they would “protect the lives of unborn children and their mothers,” but did not spell out exactly what national restrictions on abortion they would introduce, or how they would address maternal mortality rates.

Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, who would likely drop from majority leader if his party regains control, said Republicans would introduce bills to reduce inflation and lower energy costs.

“We wanted to present a bold, conservative vision to show the country that there is hope again,” Scalise said. “The commitment to America is going to show the country, if you give us a Republican majority in the House, these are the things we will do.”

Democrats widely criticized the Republican launch of their plan.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat from Maryland, said during a speech in Pittsburgh that the House GOP’s “new platform, which is not new at all, has a lot of catchphrases and few details.” .

ongoing campaigns

Democrats narrowly control the House, holding 221 seats to Republicans’ 212 members, with two vacancies.

Both parties are pouring millions of dollars into swing districts across the country, hoping to convince voters that their vision of the country’s future is the best way forward after a tumultuous few years that included a pandemic, a January 6, 2021 by Donald Trump supporters hope to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and record inflation.

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The US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade this summer, ending half a century of abortion as a constitutionally protected right, is also playing out on the campaign trail.

Democrats have repeatedly urged voters to reject the GOP’s abortion policies by keeping them in control of both houses of Congress, while Republicans have tried to sidestep the issue in some of the more contentious races.

Pennsylvania’s Democratic candidate for the US Senate, John Fetterman, has been highlighting The relative silence of Republican candidate Mehmet Oz on a new bill by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham that would ban most 15-week abortions nationwide.

“Oz is a fraud who doesn’t even have the guts to give a yes or no answer when it comes to how (he) would vote on the abortion ban bill that was introduced in the United States Senate,” he said. Fetterman in a statement Friday. . “He’s dodging this very real question and he thinks Pennsylvanians won’t notice.”

That close race in Keystone State and others likely drew both Republicans and Hoyer to their southwest corner on Friday.

four planks

The Republican Commitment to America has four broad pillars. Three focus on economic issues; national security and crime; and government transparency. The fourth includes health, technology and education policy.

The economic category proposes that a Republican-dominated US House of Representatives would cut government spending, though it declines to say where lawmakers would cut federal funding; boost national energy production; and expand American manufacturing.

To address national security concerns, the House GOP plans to “fully fund effective border control strategies,” support an additional 200,000 police officers through bonds, and “invest in an efficient and effective military.”

House Republicans say if voters gave them back control of that chamber, they would create a “freedom-based future,” in part by preventing transgender women from competing in women’s sports and lowering health care prices by boosting the competition.

The proposal also calls for the GOP to “save and strengthen” Social Security and Medicare, though it doesn’t provide any details about how longstanding popular social programs that primarily serve the elderly would change.

Those two entitlement programs, along with Medicaid, are classified as mandatory government spending, meaning they run mostly on autopilot and represent the fastest-growing section of federal spending.

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abortion bills

In the section on government accountability, Republicans address abortion without detail, although during this session of Congress, House Republicans have introduced more than 100 bills address abortion in some way.

One bill, by Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Mike Kelly, would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy and sometimes before a woman knows she’s pregnant.

the measurewhich has 123 co-sponsors, has an exemption for abortions that are necessary to save the life of the pregnant patient, but not for rape or incest.

West Virginia Rep. Alex Mooney’s legislation, backed by 166 co-sponsors, would “implement equal protection of the right to life” at the time of fertilization.

the legislation it does not detail if or when women would be able to access abortions, including in cases of ectopic pregnancies, which are never viable, or miscarriages, which sometimes require the same drugs or procedures as elective abortions.

A 20-week abortion ban, sponsored by New Jersey Rep. Christopher Smith, has the support of 173 House Republicans. the proposal includes exceptions after 20 weeks of pregnancy if the result of rape or incest, but only if the patient “has obtained counseling for the rape” or “has obtained medical treatment for the rape or rape-related injury.”

A child whose pregnancy is the result of rape or incest would be allowed an abortion after 20 weeks if the child has reported the crime to a “government agency legally authorized to act on reports of child abuse” or to the police, according to the Smith legislation.

Abortions after 20 weeks would also be legal if the pregnancy was life-threatening due to physical illness or injury, but not “psychological or emotional conditions.”

promised investigations

Republicans in the US House of Representatives at the launch celebration on Friday did not mention their abortion proposals, but detailed many other aspects of their plan for a Republican majority, including investigations.

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan promised that various committees would conduct investigations into the withdrawal of the US military from Afghanistan, the origins of COVID-19, and various actions by the US Department of Justice.

“We are committed to doing the investigations that need to be done,” Jordan said. “After all, that is part of our constitutional duty, to do the oversight and make sure that you, the country, we, the people, have the facts and the truth.”

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On education policy, Louisiana Rep. Julia Letlow said Republicans would bring up their so-called Parents’ Bill of Rights, which would impose new national regulations on state and local education agencies.

the legislation would require local education agencies to post the curriculum for primary and secondary schools on a public website, or make it widely available to the community if they do not have a website.

Local education agencies would have to create annual report cards detailing all revenues and expenses for the entire school system, as well as for each school.

“This is common sense legislation. It’s just about giving us transparency,” Letlow said. “And you as a parent should always, first and foremost, be able to see your child’s curriculum.”

“And then secondly, if you don’t like what you find, if you don’t like what you see, you should be able to go to your school board and legally tell them this needs to change. You should have that right as a parent,” he added.

Parents would also be given the right to know if states change their academic standards, meet at least twice a year with their child’s teacher, check out books and reading materials in the school library, and receive information about violence. inside the school.

Democrats back down

Hoyer, in Pittsburgh, said there were few Republican-specific details “because the true details of the Republican agenda are too frightening for most American voters. However, the details matter.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that the Republicans’ political goals threaten to “criminalize women’s health care, cut Medicare for seniors, and raise prescription drug prices, and attack our free and fair elections.”

“These appalling proposals have long been put forward by right-wing politicians and are widely supported by the dark money special interests that make the decisions in the Republican Party,” the California Democrat said.

“But this extreme MAGA agenda is wildly out of step with the priorities of Americans, who align with the Democrats’ vision of putting people above politics: with lower costs, better paying jobs and cleaner communities. safe”.

President Joe Biden, speaking at a Democratic National Committee event at the National Education Association headquarters in Washington, DC, rebuked House Republicans’ plans, saying it was “a thin series of political goals, with little or no details.