ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports: They don’t want you to call it the Contract with America. Tomorrow morning, House Republicans will unveil “The Pledge to America,” outlining a “governing agenda” for Republicans as they try to regain control of the House.
ABC News has learned this new Pledge will include five broad categories, including jobs, government reform, spending, national security and health care. Under each category, there will be four or five specific proposals and actual bills, many of which have already been introduced.
A top House Republican told me “The Pledge” is “an important milestone showing our people we have learned our lesson and we are ready to govern.” In other words, it is a pledge not to go back to the big spending and high deficits of the last Republican Congress.
Unlike the Contract with America, which was unveiled by Newt Gingrich in 1994 on the steps of the Capitol, the Pledge will be unveiled in at a hardware store in Sterling, Virginia by junior GOP House members.
John Boehner and the other Republican leaders will be there, but they will let the backbenchers do most of the talking. It’s nod to the fact that Republicans establishment is no more popular these days than the Democrats.
The Pledge is also an effort to respond to the allegation that the GOP is the “party of no.”
“It’s important to show what Republicans are for,” explained another House Republican involved in creating The Pledge.
According to multiple sources, The Pledge includes the following proposals:
- Permanently extend the Bush tax cuts (all of them), or, as Republicans put it, a promise not to raise taxes on January 1, 2011 (the day the Bush tax cuts expire).
- Repeal and replace health care reform
- End the stimulus program
- A cap on discretionary spending
- Phase out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- Permanently end the TARP program
- Keep Guantanamo open
- New sanctions on Iran and more money for missile defense
- Require every bill to be available online for three days before it is voted on.
- Require every bill to be certified as constitutional before it is voted on.