Most proponents don't want a literal version of the old Contract With America, which was a huge success for House Republicans in 1994 but devoted a lot of attention to internal House reforms as well as the extensive legislation GOP lawmakers promised to pass. After many re-iterations of the contract over the years, some GOP strategists believe another could look like a wish list that voters would promptly ignore.
Instead, some Republicans are thinking about focusing on two or three policy areas in which they will pledge major legislation to boost America's economy.
Three items under discussion are energy, regulation and tax reform. The energy part is relatively easy; Republicans support a variety of ways for America to capitalize on the revolution in oil and gas recovery, while Democrats seem determined to slow it all down.
Tax reform is more difficult, since Republicans do not agree among themselves on a big plan. But they could showcase individual measures, like ways to bring home the billions in cash that U.S. corporations have overseas.
As far as regulation is concerned, there is a concern that voters have heard the GOP's general anti-regulatory position over and over. Instead, Republicans might focus on one or two undeniably counterproductive economic restrictions as a symbol for Obama's across-the-board increase in regulations.
Health care remains a big question mark. Republicans have famously not been able to unite behind a single Obamacare alternative, and it doesn't look like they'll be able to do so anytime soon. Beyond supporting repeal -- nearly all Republicans still do -- it's hard to see what the GOP positive agenda will be.
Not all Republicans are on board for some sort of party pledge. While some think a contract-style agenda could put them over the top in close races, others "think the existence of such an agenda is just a recipe for further divisions down the road -- you don't want to over-promise and create backlash," says one Senate Republican source.
Most GOP lawmakers do agree on one thing: They hate "Republicans are divided" stories in the press. But the fact is, November is not that far away, and the GOP hasn't fully settled on how to run.
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