GOP Set to Announce Agenda Thursday

ABC News' John R. Parkinson reports:

ABC News has learned that the House Republican Leadership plans to unveil its legislative agenda Thursday morning in Sterling, Virginia. House GOP sources say members of GOP leadership, including Minority Leader John Boehner, will make the announcement after a small business roundtable at a local hardware store.

“[The agenda] will be the result of the months-long process we’ve been engaged in dubbed ‘America Speaking Out’ in which we asked Americans what their top priorities are,” a GOP leadership source tells ABC News. “What we heard from Americans are that their top priorities are jobs, spending, health care, national security, and changing how Congress works. This will be reflected in the agenda.”

“We will begin right away fighting for the items in the agenda because these are the things that are America’s top priorities,” the source adds.

The new agenda, which is not yet finalized, is expected to include recent GOP proposals such as a pitch to keep tax rates at current levels for two years while cutting federal spending back to 2008 levels and another proposal requiring bills to be posted on the internet 72 hours prior to floor votes.

The announcement this Thursday is timed similarly with the last time the Republican party, led then by Newt Gingrich, unveiled its “Contract with America” six weeks before the 1994 congressional midterm elections. That agenda, which was signed by all but two members of the House Republicans delegation, resulted in the first GOP-controlled House in 40 years.

Sources have not yet confirmed the title of the latest GOP agenda, which will likely be utilized over the next six weeks as a blueprint for GOP candidates stumping on the campaign trail.

Boehner, R-Ohio, is widely expected to become Speaker of the House if Republicans are able to retake control of the chamber when voters go to the polls November 2. Republicans need to pick up 40 seats to recapture the House majority from Democrats and end Speaker Nancy’s Pelosi’s reign as the country’s first female speaker.

America Speaking Out is an initiative created by Minority Leader John Boehner’s office launched last May with the intent to create an agenda that “carries the stamp of the American people.” The website says the project provides voters with “a new platform to share their priorities and ideas for a national policy agenda.”

“As House Republicans, we are committed to our principles of limited, more accountable government; economic freedom; lower taxes; fiscal responsibility; protecting life, American values, and the Constitution; and providing for strong national security,” the website states.

At the GOP Conference meeting planned Wednesday evening at the Capitol, the House Republican leadership will present a draft of the agenda and brief members on its contents. GOP rank-and-file members will get their first peek at the agenda just hours prior to the meeting, when the draft agenda will be made available for member viewing in the Minority Leader’s conference room Wednesday afternoon.

--John R. Parkinson

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