Ahead of Friday's official announcement of the "Commitment to America" agenda, House Republicans' plans for the future show that GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and his caucus are not shying away from the culture wars or avoiding diving into issues labeled "divisive" by Democrats.
The House Republicans, hoping to retake the majority in November's midterms, rolled out the policy priorities they say will "create an economy that's strong, a nation that's safe, a future that's built on freedom, and a government that's accountable."
The American people cannot afford another two years of Democrat control.— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) September 22, 2022
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"The Commitment to America represents a new direction and better approach that will get our nation back on track," the plan's preamble states of the GOP's sweeping policy agenda.
Within the plan are pledges to "maximize production of reliable, American-made energy," "cut the permitting process time in half to reduce reliance on foreign countries, prevent rolling blackouts, and lower the cost of gas and utilities" while Republicans say they'll also take action to "move supply chains away from China" and "expand U.S. manufacturing."
Republicans promise in their commitment to "curb wasteful government spending that is raising the price of groceries, gas, cars, and housing" and work to "increase take-home pay, create good-paying jobs, and bring stability to the economy through pro-growth tax and regulatory policies."
When it comes to national security, the GOP plan pledges to "fully fund effective border enforcement strategies, infrastructure, and advanced technology to prevent illegal crossings and trafficking by cartels" while taking action to "end catch-and-release loopholes" at the border, require individuals to be in the country legally to get a job, and eliminate welfare incentives for illegal immigrants.
Responding to the surge in violent crime, the GOP's Commitment to America includes support for "200,000 more police officers through recruiting bonuses" while opposing "all efforts to defund the police." Notably, the GOP plan also says their majority will take legislative action to "crack down on prosecutors and district attorneys who refuse to prosecute crimes, while permanently criminalizing all forms of illicit fentanyl."
House Republicans also announced they'll form a "Select Committee on China," and "exercise peace though strength with our allies to counter increasing global threats."
In addition, the plan includes a pledge to advance the Parents' Bill of Rights, help for families to recover from the learning loss that occurred in recent years due to COVID and union shutdowns, and expand parental choice over where and how their children learn. In another culture battle arena, the GOP plan includes a pledge to "defend fairness by ensuring that only women can compete in women's sports."
The GOP agenda also includes commitments to "uphold free speech, protect the lives of unborn children and their mothers, guarantee religious freedom, and safeguard the Second Amendment" and a promise to "conduct rigorous oversight to rein in government abuse of power and corruption, provide real transparency, and require the White House to answer for its incompetence at home and abroad" — setting the stage for intense oversight hearings and House investigations starting in 2023 if the GOP does indeed retake the House majority.
Following the success of election integrity laws in Georgia and Texas, House Republicans' commitment includes a pledge to "increase accountability in the election process through voter ID, accurate voter rolls, and observer access."
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — whose "Contract with America" helped the GOP caucus take the majority in 1994's elections — called the plan's unveiling a "historic event." Gingrich continued, telling reporters that the Commitment to America is "much more sophisticated than what we did in '94" and is "a real blueprint for governing."
What's missing from the plan, however, is a roadmap for how these priorities — if passed by a GOP House majority — would end up being enacted if the Senate does not flip to Republican control, or doesn't see enough GOP wins to be able to push legislation through the upper chamber, and as long as Joe Biden remains in the White House.
With less than 50 days until November's midterm elections, it's in America's hands now to decide whether they want the next Congress to continue as a rubber stamp for President Biden's agenda, or whether they want to put the power in Republicans' hands and give them a shot at following through on their Commitment to America.