Republican leader Kevin McCarthy unveiled the Pennsylvania GOP’s midterm election agenda on Friday, confronting President Biden and the party in power.
McCarthy, who is poised to take the speaker’s gavel if Republicans gain control of the House in the fall, hopes to replicate former President Newt Gingrich’s strategy to rouse voter enthusiasm and sweep control of the House. in 1994.
“So if you’re like everyone else, we listened, if you can afford it, if you feel safe, the challenge of your kids being lost or a government running amok,” McCarthy told his rapturous audience. “Who has a plan to turn that around? We do. The Democrats don’t have a plan for the problem they created.”
The House GOP’s “Pledge to America” nods to that earlier era, but updates it for Trump, with economic, border security and social policies to rouse the former president’s supporters in often-forgotten regions. like this rusty landscape outside of Pittsburgh.
“We want a strong economy,” McCarthy said. “That means you can fill up your tank. You can buy groceries. You have enough money left over to go to Disneyland and save for the future. Paychecks grow, not shrink. We have a plan for a nation that is secure. That means your community will be protected. Your law enforcement will be respected. Your criminals will be prosecuted. We believe in a future that is built on freedom. Your children come first. They are taught to dream big. and balance, that the government must be held accountable.
On the first day of Republican control of the House, McCarthy promised Republicans would vote to ban 87,000 IRS agents, drawing applause from the audience. After the passage ofwhich provides $80 billion in funding to the IRS to enable the agency to hire thousands of agents and modernize its systems, that the IRS wants to hire “87,000 new IRS agents to audit Walmart shoppers.” The Treasury Department says, however, that families with incomes below $400,000 “will likely see the possibility of an audit decrease.”
The House Republican leader stood up with other Republican lawmakers to implement the Republican agenda, offering a portrait of the party’s unity despite the uneasy coalition that makes up the House minority and the GOP itself. Among those seated behind McCarthy on Friday was Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.
The Republican Party has shifted from its focus on small government, low taxes, and individual liberties to a more populist nationalist party, essentially still led by Donald Trump, who remains popular despite ever-deepening state and federal investigations into his against.
Driven by Trump’s “Make America Great Again” voters, Republicans need to win just a few seats to regain control of the closely divided House of Representatives and replace House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. Still, McCarthy’s ability to lead the House is far from guaranteed.
While Republicans and Trump passed the tax cuts into law, the GOP’s last big campaign promise, to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, failed. A long line of Republican speakers, including Gingrich, John Boehner and Paul Ryan, have been forced out of office or opted for early retirement, often crushed by party infighting.
“House Republicans are really good at driving people out of town,” said Matt Schlapp, president of the Conservative Political Action Coalition, or CPAC.
McCarthy, first elected to office in 2006, is among the remaining political survivors of those Republican battles in the House. A key architect of the Republican “Tea Party” inauguration in 2010, the California Republican personally recruited newcomers to Congress, many of whom had never held public office and left long ago. He was an early backer of Trump and has remained close to the former president, relying on his high-profile endorsements to boost Republican congressional candidates. He abandoned an earlier attempt to become a speaker when the support of his colleagues waned.
“Commitment to America” reflects the strength of McCarthy’s abilities, but also his weaknesses. He spent more than a year bringing together the often warring factions of the House GOP, from the far-right MAGA to what remains of the more centrist ranks, to produce a largely agreed-upon agenda.
But the one-page “commitment” preamble is succinct, essentially a pocket card, though it is expected to be filled in with the kind of detail needed to make law.
“They talk about a lot of issues,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat. “They don’t have many solutions.”
By traveling to the battlefield of Pennsylvania, a state where Biden has had emotional ties since childhood, McCarthy intends to counter the president’s fiery Labor Day weekend speech, in which he warned of the rise of Republican extremism. after the January 6, 2021 attack on Capitol Hill, with a more optimistic message. The event is billed as a conversation with the Republican leader and lawmakers.
Along with five House seats Republicans think they can grab in Pennsylvania in November, the state has one of the most watched Senate races between Democrat John Fetterman and Trump-backed Mehmet Oz, which will help determine control of Congress. Top of the ticket is the seismic governor’s matchup between Republican Doug Mastriano, who was seen outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, and Democrat Josh Shapiro.
“If you’re a hardliner, a populist, and you really want anger, Kevin is a little frustrating because he won’t get angry enough for you,” Gingrich said. “On the other hand, if you want your values to be implemented and passed into legislation, he is a very good leader and organizer.”
Gingrich has been working with McCarthy and his team to design the style and substance of the proposal. The former president, who was asked for an interview by the Jan. 6 committee investigating the attack on Capitol Hill, was present in Washington Thursday and joined McCarthy as he revealed the plans privately to House Republicans, who are have been confused about the approach.
For the most part, the GOP’s pocket card hits broad strokes: energy independence, security, and an end to liberal social policies, particularly in education.
Conservative Republicans privately complain that McCarthy is not sticking with his priorities enough as he tries to appeal to a broader swath of voters and keep the party together.
Many are eager to launch investigations into the Biden administration and the president’s family, with some calling for impeachment. Legislatively, some House Republicans want to honor the party’s commitment to ban abortion, supporting Sen. Lindsey Graham’s bill that bans the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
In a sign of the pressures McCarthy faces, dozens of House Republicans signed on to Trump-aligned Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s plans to prevent many gender reassignment proceedings for minors, celebrating the Georgian was brave for taking such a hard-line approach.
She and others were invited to join Friday’s event as McCarthy seeks their endorsement.
Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, has advocated withholding federal funding as leverage for political priorities, the tactic that engineered previous government shutdowns.
“Put out like, you know, principles about, ‘Okay, we’ll secure the border.’ I mean, okay, but what are we going to do about it?” Roy said. “At the end of the day, I want specific actionable items that show we’re going to fight for the American people.”
Only McCarthy has proposed a plan if Republicans win control of the House chamber. In the Senate, Republican leader Mitch McConnell has refused to present an agenda, preferring simply to run against Biden and the Democrats in the midterm elections.
“Kevin has done a very good job of being in a position to become the speaker. And then the question is, what do you do with it?” Schlapp said. “This helps as a roadmap.”
Source : www.cbsnews.com