What to Know in Washington: McCarthy’s GOP Plan Invokes Gingrich
When Newt Gingrich debuted his Contract with America in 1994, it spelled out what Republicans planned to pass in their first 100 days of a majority they easily swept in midterm elections that year.
But when Republicans led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) roll out their Commitment to America plan today in Pittsburgh, the legislative details will be light as they focus messaging their top priorities — the economy, safety, individual freedom and government accountability.
“I don’t think Americans want today to see legislative text,” Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) chair of the House Republican’s campaign arm. “They want to know what you’re gonna do and then they want you to get it done. Period.”
The plan has been in the works for more than a year. Seven task forces — each with a specific focus — crafted their own proposals. Although much of the work won’t be on display, members poised to chair committees next year say the time put into the plan helped lay the groundwork for their committees.
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), the top Republican on the Financial Services Committee, noted while the Commitment to America plan only had two bullet points on jobs and the economy, there were four separate of documents explaining those two bullets points in greater detail.
Beyond those four documents is a 25-30 page memo for members to further understand the plan. And beyond that memo, McHenry said “is literally hundreds of pages of legislative framework, texts and texts we’ve filed.”
Some members in the House Freedom Caucus want to see more policy details as part of the roll out, but most complaints were muted given the larger goal of beating Democrats in November.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said while she was excited about the plan “we still have a lot to be hammered out.”
“I definitely think that it’s something that the conference will have to work on,” she said, noting the details shouldn’t only be determined in committees, but as a conference.
One person backing the GOP’s approach of avoiding specificity is Gingrich himself. The former speaker returned to Congress on Thursday to tout the plan during a closed door Republican briefing.
“It’s much more sophisticated than what we did in ’94,” Gingrich said. “It’s a really blueprint for governing.”
Gingrich, who advised Republicans throughout the crafting of the plan, told members they needed to do to sell it.
“Keep focused on the commitment and talk about it over and over and over again,” Gingrich said he told members during the meeting. “You talk about it until you can’t stand it, and at that point the voters are starting to know what is going on.”
Happening on the Hill
- The House will next meet on Wednesday at noon.
- The Senate meets for a pro forma session Friday at 11 a.m., and no votes are expected. The chamber is scheduled to next meet Tuesday at 3 p.m.
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