Last week, John Boehner and House Republicans unveiled "A Pledge to America," a new governing agenda for the country built by doing something radical: actually listening to the American people. CBS News has a link to the Pledge which has five main plans for:
>> Creating New Jobs: Republicans want to stop all the tax hikes (something Boehner has called on Pelosi to hold an up-or-down vote on this week), give small businesses a 20 percent deduction to jumpstart investing and hiring, and more.
>> Cutting Government Spending: Republicans want to cut spending back to 2008 levels – pre-"stimulus," pre-bailouts, pre-takeovers – while imposing hard caps on spending, holding weekly votes on spending cuts, fundamentally changing the way Congress spends tax dollars, and more.
>> Repealing & Replacing ObamaCare: Republicans have been fighting to scrap ObamaCare from top to bottom, and outlined a plan here for starting over with common-sense reforms (reining in junk lawsuits, letting Americans buy coverage across state lines, and more) to help lower costs and protect jobs.
>> Reforming Congress: Republicans want to let America "read the bill" by posting legislation online at least three days before a vote. They want to require every bill to cite its Constitutional authority. And they generally want to make Congress more open and accountable.
>> Keeping America Secure: Fully-funding missile defense, keeping terrorists out of American prisons in local communities, requiring tough enforcement of sanctions on Iran, and working with state and local officials to enforce our immigration laws (rather than suing them as the Obama Administration has done) are all parts of a Republican plan for keeping America secure.
Here’s some of the coverage of the Pledge:
>> We’ll Take the Pledge: "The inevitable question will be: Is the pledge as bold as the Contract? The answer is: The pledge is bolder. The Contract with America merely promised to hold votes on popular bills that had been bottled up during decades of Democratic control of the House. The pledge commits Republicans to working toward a broad conservative agenda that, if implemented, would make the federal government significantly smaller, Congress more accountable, and America more prosperous." (National Review, 9/22/10)
>> ‘Pledge to America’ Gaining Conservative Support: "Rush Limbaugh used his daily rant on Thursday to question the attacks on the pledge, which he called common sense. 'It is what people are clamoring for,' Mr. Limbaugh told his listeners. 'People want an end to what is happening now. They want the brakes applied to the Obama agenda.'" (New York Times, 9/25/10)
>> GOP Battle Cry: Repeal Obamacare, Cut Spending: "The interesting thing is that this year's Pledge to America concentrates more on substantive issues of governance than the Contract With America did 16 years ago. ... [T]he Pledge to America also addresses two central economic issues and makes commitments ... One is to roll back non-defense discretionary spending to 2008 levels. The other is to repeal -- not revise or amend or embroider, but repeal -- the health care bill signed by Barack Obama exactly six months before the shirt-sleeved House Republicans made their pledge." (Michael Barone, Washington Examiner, 9/27/10)
>> House Republicans make a conservative 'Pledge to America': "House Republicans on Thursday announced an expansive agenda called 'A Pledge to America' that proposes to shrink the size of government and reform Congress, offering a conservative plan of action they will pursue if they win a majority in the midterm elections. ... 'The federal government is too big, it spends too much, and it's out of control' Boehner said. He acknowledged that 'when Republicans were in charge of Congress' during the Bush years, 'we made our fair share of mistakes.' But now, he said, after listening to the American people for the past 20 months, 'we get it, we get it.'" (Washington Post, 9/23/10)
>> National Right to Life commends House Republican "Pledge to America" to repeal Obama health law and permanently bar federal funds for abortion: "'We welcome the Republican leadership's commitment to repeal and replace the Obama health care law, which is a top priority for the pro-life movement because that law, when fully implemented, would result in the rationing of lifesaving medical treatments, and an array of federal subsidies for abortion as well,' said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. 'In addition, a permanent government-wide prohibition on federal funding of abortion is long overdue, and we applaud the inclusion of that legislation in this action plan.'" (NRLC Press Release, 9/23/10)
>> The GOP's Pledge: Someone's been listening: "[I]t is a pleasant surprise to see that House Republicans under John Boehner are putting forth a strong governing agenda and pledging to uphold it. ... [I]t gives voters a distinct choice this fall between two well-defined agendas and a document with which to hold Republicans accountable if they fail to follow through. Clearly, Republicans in Washington are listening. And that's change America can believe in." (Union Leader, 9/24/10)
>> Pledge shows Republicans have been listening to Americans: "Republicans promise greater transparency, to try to turn back the unpopular Obamacare health reforms, to keep tax rates where they've been for the better part of a decade and to curb government spending. 'It's a very positive step in the right direction,' former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told The Daily Caller. 'The focus on jobs, the economy, spending... is exactly right.'" (The Oklahoman, 9/27/10)
Gateway Pundit also says, "The House Republicans did well here. This document will no doubt connect with American workers, business owners, the unemployed, those suffering through the current government-created crisis, Libertarians and tea party patriots."
Faith & Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed says the message of the Pledge is "unmistakable: we will not be divided by a false choice between fiscal responsibility and strong families. We will fight for both, and indeed we must do both if we are to restore America’s promise."
Radio host Lars Larson calls the Pledge "a fantastic idea." The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol says it "is a step up from 1994’s Contract with America." Mark Levin called it "a positive step for conservatism and that we need to start now because it's going to be a long battle ahead of us to bring back the principles of freedom and liberty to America."
FreedomWorks and the Contract From America Foundation said it "is evidence that Republicans are beginning to listen to the millions of ordinary Americans that are fed up with Washington’s ways."
At CPAC 2010 in February, CNSNews.com says Boehner talked about developing a new governing agenda and said that Republicans are "going to listen to things like the ‘Contract FROM America.’ We’re going to listen to things like the Mount Vernon Statement. We’re going to listen to the tea party movement." He said an agenda "will come from those who are really in charge of this country: the American people. While the other side is busy mocking the tea partiers and calling them names, we’re going to listen to them, stand with them, and walk among them."
Looks like Republicans have done exactly that.
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