WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans gathered at a warehouse in southwestern Pennsylvania on Friday to outline the legislation they will try to pass if voters return control of the chamber after November’s midterm elections.
Speaking from an HVAC plant in Monongahela, about an hour south of Pittsburgh, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said the first bill he would introduce if elected speaker would repeal part of the Democratic law , which increases funding for the Internal Revenue Service.
“The very first day we’re sworn in, you’re going to see that change because in the very first bill we’re going to eliminate 87,000 IRS agents,” McCarthy said, using a number that Democrats have repeatedly said. This is not an accurate representation of what increased funding will do. “Our job is to work for you, not chase you.”
None of the proposals that have been floated had a price tag that would indicate how much the House GOP would change spending from current levels. Republicans also said they would “protect the lives of the unborn and their mothers,” but did not specify exactly what nationwide abortion restrictions they would put on the floor or how they would address maternal mortality rates.
Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, who is likely to move from whip to majority leader if his party regains control, said Republicans will advance bills to lower inflation and lower energy costs.
“We wanted to put forth a bold conservative vision to show the country that there is hope again,” Scalise said. “Committing to America will show the country that if you give us a Republican majority in the House, that’s what we’re going to do.”
Democrats have widely criticized the Republicans’ rollout of their plan.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, said during a speech in Pittsburgh that “the new House GOP platform, which is not new at all, is full of slogans and few details.”
There are campaigns
Democrats hold a slim seat in the House of Representatives, holding 221 seats to 212 Republican members, with two vacancies.
Both parties are pouring millions of dollars into constituencies across the country, hoping to convince voters that their vision for the country’s future is the best way forward after a tumultuous few years that have included the pandemic, Donald Trump’s uprising January 6, 2021 Trump supporters hope to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and to record inflation.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade this summer, ending half a century of abortion as a constitutionally protected right, is also weighing on the campaign trail.
Democrats have repeatedly called on voters to reject the GOP’s abortion policies while maintaining control of both houses of Congress, while Republicans have tried to sidestep the issue in some of the more contentious races.
US Senate candidate John Fetterman, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, emphasized The relative silence of Republican candidate Mehmet Oz about a new bill from South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham that would limit most abortions to 15 weeks nationwide.
“Oz is a fraud who doesn’t even have the guts to say yes or no when it comes to how we’re going to vote on the abortion bill that’s been introduced in the US Senate,” Fetterman said in a statement Friday. . “He’s avoiding this very real issue and thinks Pennsylvanians won’t notice.”
That tight race in the Keystone State and others likely drew Republicans and Hoyer to their Southwest corner on Friday.
The Republican commitment to America consists of four broad agendas. Three focus on economic issues; national security and crime; and government transparency. The fourth includes health, technology and education policies.
The economic column predicts the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives will cut government spending, but declines to say where lawmakers will cut federal funding; increase domestic energy production; and expand manufacturing in the US.
To address national security concerns, House Republicans plan to “fully fund effective border security strategies,” support 200,000 additional police officers through bonuses, and “invest in an efficient, effective military.”
House Republicans say if voters give them back control of that chamber, they will create a “future built on freedom,” including preventing transgender people from competing in women’s sports and lowering health care prices through more competition.
The proposal also calls on the GOP to “preserve and strengthen” Social Security and Medicare, but doesn’t provide any details on how they would change long-standing popular welfare programs that mostly serve the elderly.
These two entitlement programs, along with Medicaid, are classified as mandatory government spending, meaning they operate largely on autopilot and represent the fastest-growing portion of federal spending.
In the government accountability chapter, Republicans have no specifics on abortion, although this session of Congress, House Republicans have introduced more than 100 bills somehow resorting to abortion.
One bill, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-16th District, would ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks into a pregnancy, and sometimes before a person knows she’s pregnant.
The measurewhich has 123 co-authors, has an exception for abortions that are necessary to save the life of a pregnant patient, but not for rape or incest.
The legislation, from West Virginia Rep. Alex Mooney, backed by 166 co-sponsors, would “implement equal protection of the right to life” at the time of fertilization.
The legislation there is no telling when or if women will be able to get abortions, including in cases of ectopic pregnancies that are never viable, or miscarriages, which sometimes require the same drugs or procedures as elective abortions.
The 20-week abortion ban, initiated by Rep. Christopher Smith of New Jersey, is supported by 173 Republicans in the House of Representatives. The proposal includes exceptions after 20 weeks of pregnancy if it is the result of rape or incest, but only if the patient “received rape counseling” or “received medical treatment for rape or rape-related injury.”
A child whose pregnancy resulted from rape or incest would be allowed to have an abortion after 20 weeks if the minor reported the crime to a “public agency legally authorized to act on reports of child abuse” or law enforcement, according to Smith’s legislation.
Abortions after 20 weeks will also be legal if the pregnancy threatens the patient’s life due to a physical illness or injury, but not “psychological or emotional conditions.”
They promised an investigation
House Republicans did not mention their abortion proposals at a celebration Friday, but detailed many other aspects of their plan for the GOP majority, including investigations.
Ohio State Representative Jim Jordan has promised that various committees will investigate the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the origins of COVID-19 and various actions by the US Department of Justice.
“We’re committed to doing the investigation that needs to be done,” Jordan said. “At the end of the day, it’s part of our constitutional duty to exercise oversight and make sure that you, the country, we the people, have the facts and the truth.”
On education policy, Louisiana Rep. Julia Letlove said Republicans will pass her so-called Parents’ Bill of Rights, which would introduce new national rules for state and local education agencies.
The legislation require local educational institutions to post their elementary and middle school curricula on a public website, or to disseminate them widely to the community if they do not have a website.
Local education authorities will be required to produce annual reports detailing all income and expenditure for the entire school system as well as for each school.
“This is a law of common sense. It’s just about ensuring transparency for us,” Letlov said. “So you as a parent should always — first of all — be able to review your child’s curriculum.”
“And secondly, if you don’t like what you find, if you don’t like what you see, you should be able to go to the school board and legally tell them it needs to be changed. You should have that right as a parent,” she added.
Parents will also be given the right to know when 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 get information about school violence.
Democrats are pushing back
Pittsburgh’s Hoyer said Republicans got few specifics “because the real details of the Republican agenda are too scary for most American voters. However, the details matter.”
In a statement, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Republican policy goals threaten to “criminalize women’s health care, cut health care for the elderly and raise prescription drug prices, and attack our free and fair elections.”
“These terrible proposals have long been advanced by right-wing politicians and are widely supported by the dark money vested interests that control the Republican Party,” the California Democrat said.
“But this extreme MAGA agenda is completely out of line with the priorities of Americans, which align with the Democrats’ vision of putting people above politics: lower spending, higher-paying jobs, and safer communities.”
President Joe Biden, speaking at a Democratic National Committee event at the National Education Association headquarters in Washington, D.C., blasted the House Republicans’ plans, saying they were “a thin series of policy goals with little or no detail.