House Republicans pledged Friday to end soaring inflation and reduce crime by serving as a check on President Biden if they reclaim power — calling the party’s midterm election platform a “Commitment to America.“
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced the big-tent framework inside an HVAC manufacturing plant outside Pittsburgh, Pa.
“We want to roll [the plan] out to you, to the entire country, to know exactly what we will do if you would trust us and give us the ability to take a new direction for this country,” McCarthy said.
The kickoff featured a business-casual Q&A where dozens of GOP legislators took turns fielding questions.
The Republicans vowed to rein in government spending to lower the worst inflation in 41 years — with consumer prices up 8.3% over 12 months as of August.
Speakers also promised to address crime, including record-high illegal immigration, rising violent crime in cities and fentanyl smuggling that’s accelerated overdose deaths.
“The sad part is these Democratic policies have already taken one month of your wages. So now the struggle that you have is you’re living through 12 months with only 11 months’ pay now because inflation is so high,” McCarthy said, blasting Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan spending bill.
“We’ve watched what’s happened to our border — the millions of people who are just walking across, people on the terrorist watch list. Now we’re watching it create every community to be a border community,” McCarthy said.
“Fentanyl is the number one killer of Americans between the ages of 18 and 45. The poison starts in China and comes across our border. Do you realize it’s killing 300 Americans every day? It’s like an airliner crashing each day.”
No. 3 House Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York said the GOP would be “making sure that we stop the trillions and trillions of reckless government spending that we have seen under Democrat rule.”
“That will immediately help lower the cost of goods as we seek to rein in inflation,” she said at the event.
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) said, “We have to have oversight of what’s happening in the administration and go after the wasteful spending of the last administration and return to normalcy — that $1 today means $1 tomorrow.”
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) said Republicans would declare fentanyl a weapon of mass destruction. “That’s what this is. It fits the categories completely. And we’re going to declare it as that and use every resource we possibly can,” he said.
Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) said that unlike Democrats under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), “we’re not going to have this top-down leadership.”
“Kevin McCarthy is going to rely on all of us to have bottom-up leadership that comes from the districts,” he said. “We got members here from New York all the way to the border with Tony Gonzales. We got people that have different approaches — all the way from David Joyce to Marjorie Taylor Greene. But we’re all united behind Kevin McCarthy.”
Republican speakers vowed various oversight efforts focused on the Biden administration and hearings on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said, “We were calling for hearings for over a year on the origin of COVID. Shouldn’t we know that? I mean, this is a basic question. Millions of people across the globe died.”
Scalise said there would be many hearings on border security too after more than 2 million people illegally crossed the southwest border in fiscal 2022.
“We will give [Homeland Security] Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas a reserved parking spot, he will be testifying so much about this,” Scalise said.
Speakers did not specifically mention expected investigations of Biden’s links to his son Hunter Biden and brother Jim Biden’s multimillion-dollar influence-peddling businesses in China, Ukraine and other countries.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said the Republicans decided their first bill will seek to nullify an IRS crackdown recently authorized by Democrats to fund an environmental and health care spending bill. He also mentioned oversight of allegedly biased Justice Department actions .
“We’re gonna look into this weaponization of the DOJ against the American people … not to mention the border. But specifically to the COVID issue … they told us so many things that turned out not to be accurate,” Jordan said.
“They told us this thing [COVID] … didn’t come from a lab. Sure it looks like it did,” he added. “But they want us to believe, ‘No, no, no, it was a bat to a pangolin to Joe Rogan.’”
“We are committed to doing the investigations that need to be done,” Jordan said.
The “Commitment to America” organizes various pledges under four broad categories: the economy, safety, freedom and accountability. The outline is an attempt to harness the historical success of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s 1994 “Contract with America,” which propelled GOP gains during President Bill Clinton’s first term.