cloudyn.png
Monday October 3rd, 2022 9:05PM

McCarthy unveils House GOP's midterm agenda in Pennsylvania

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MONONGAHELA, Pa. (AP) — House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy on Friday confronted President Joe Biden and the Democratic majority in Congress with a conservative midterm election agenda filled with Trump-like promises, working not only to win over voters but to hold together the uneasy coalition of his own party that has struggled to govern.

McCarthy, who is poised to seize the speaker’s gavel if Republicans take control of the House in the fall, never once mentioned the former president. Instead, the GOP leader traveled to battleground Pennsylvania hoping to replicate the strategy that former Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia used to spark voter enthusiasm and gain a majority in 1994.

“What the ‘Commitment’ is, it’s a plan for a new direction,” McCarthy said at a manufacturing facility in a historic building along the Monongahela River.

The House GOP’s “Commitment to America” gives a nod to the earlier era but updates it in the age of Donald Trump, with economic, border security and social policies to rouse the former president’s deep well of supporters in sometimes-overlooked regions like this rusty landscape and rolling farmland outside Pittsburgh.

Slim enough to fit on a “pocket card,” which McCarthy pulled from his suitcoat, the agenda uses broad strokes — “A Future That’s Built on Freedom” — supplemented by more detailed proposals on energy, security and an end to liberal social policies, particularly in schooling.

President Joe Biden hit back quickly in a speech to the National Education Association.

He dismissed McCarthy's agenda as “a thin series of policy goals with little or no detail.” But he provided his own details in urging support for Democrats in the midterm elections.

“If Republicans win control of the Congress abortion will be banned,” Biden said. He also criticized other GOP lawmakers for proposals to require reauthorization votes for Social Security and Medicare and opposition to gun control laws and efforts to lower prescription drug costs.

“In 46 days, Americans are going to face a choice,” he said. “We have a real alternative here."

In Pennsylvania, McCarthy said that if Republicans win the House, the first bill next year will be to repeal funding approved by Democrats to bolster the Internal Revenue Service with more employees.

On Friday, he stood with a wide cross-section of lawmakers — from far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., to less extreme GOP members of Congress — offering a portrait of unity despite the wide range of views that make up the House minority — and the Republican Party nationally.

The GOP in the Trump-era has shifted from its focus on small government, low taxes and individual freedoms to a more populist, nationalist and, at times, far-right party, essentially still led by the former president, who remains popular despite the deepening state and federal investigations against him.

Propelled by Trump's “Make America Great Again” voters, the Republicans need to pick up just a few seats to win back control of the narrowly split House and replace Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But even so, McCarthy’s ability to lead the House is far from guaranteed.

While Republicans and Trump did pass tax cuts into law, the GOP’s last big campaign promise, repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” collapsed in failure. Republican speakers, including Gingrich, John Boehner and Paul Ryan, have been forced from office or have chosen early retirement, often ground down by party infighting.

“House Republicans are really good at running people out of town,” said Matt Schlapp, chair of the Conservative Political Action Coalition.

McCarthy, first elected to office in 2006, is among the remaining survivors of those House Republican battles, a leader who, somewhat like, Trump has shown more ability to communicate than to legislate.

A key architect of the Republican tea party takeover in 2010, the California Republican personally recruited the newcomers to Congress — many who had never served in public office and are now long gone. McCarthy was an early Trump endorser and has remained close to the former president, relying on Trump's high-profile endorsements to propel GOP candidates for Congress. He abandoned an earlier bid to become speaker when support from House colleagues drifted.

He spent more than a year pulling together the House GOP’s often warring factions — from the far-right MAGA to what’s left of the more centrist ranks — to produce a mostly agreed-upon agenda.

In traveling to swing state Pennsylvania, where Biden holds emotional ties from his early childhood, McCarthy sought to counter the Democratic president’s fiery Labor Day weekend speech, in which he warned of rising GOP extremism after the Jan 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

McCarthy he and fellow lawmakers chose Washington County not Washington, D.C. “Because it’s about you, it’s not about us.”

Along with as many as five House seats Republicans believe they can pick up in Pennsylvania in November, the state has one of the most watched Senate races, between Democrat John Fetterman and Trump-backed Dr. Mehmet Oz. At the top of the ticket is the governor's matchup between the GOP's Doug Mastriano, who was seen outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, and Democrat Josh Shapiro.

“If you are a hard-line populist and you really want anger, Kevin’s a little frustrating because he’s not going to be angry enough for you,” Gingrich said. “On the other hand, if what you want is to have your values implemented and passed in the legislation, he is a really good leader and organizer.”

Gingrich has been working with McCarthy and his team to craft the style and substance of the proposal.

Conservative Republicans complain privately that McCarthy isn’t leaning hard enough into their priorities, as he tries to appeal to a broader swath of voters and hold the party together.

Many are eager to launch investigations into the Biden administration and the president's family, with some calling for impeachment. Legislatively, some House Republicans want to fulfill the party’s commitment to banning abortion, supporting Sen. Lindsey Graham’s bill prohibiting the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Former McCarthy rival Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio who joined the event Friday, vowed to launch investigations including into the COVID-19 crisis if Republicans win the House.

Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, has advocated for withholding federal funds as leverage for policy priorities, a tactic that engineered past government shutdowns.

“Putting out like, you know, principles about, ‘Well, we’ll secure the border.’ I mean, OK, but what are we gonna do about it?” Roy said.

It's notable that McCarthy alone has proposed a plan if Republicans win control of the House chamber. In the Senate, Republican leader Mitch McConnell has declined to put forward an agenda, preferring to simply run against Biden and Democrats in the midterm election.

“Kevin’s done a very good job of being in position to become the speaker. And then the question is, what do you do with that? Schlapp said. “This helps as a roadmap.”

___

Associated Press writers Seung Min Kim, Kevin Freking and Farnoush Amiri in Washington and Jill Colvin in New York contributed to this report.

___

Follow the AP's coverage of the 2022 midterm elections at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Election News, General House Election News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Pro-government rallies held in Iran amid mass protests
Iranian counterprotesters have gathered across the country in a show of support for authorities after nearly a week of anti-government protests and unrest
12:01PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Taliban: Car bomb near Kabul mosque kills 7, wounds 41
The Taliban say a car bombing near a Kabul mosque killed at least seven people and wounded 41, including several children
11:58AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Trump allies create a new super PAC called MAGA Inc.
Top allies of ex-President Donald Trump are creating a new super PAC that's expected to serve as the main vehicle for his midterm spending and could become a key part of his campaign infrastructure if he moves forward with a 2024 White House run
11:32AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
World opinion shifts against Russia as Ukraine worries grow
The tide of international opinion appears to have decisively shifted against Russia, as a number of non-aligned countries joined the United States and its allies in condemning Russia’s war in Ukraine and its threats to the principles of the international rules-based order
10:53AM ( 1 hour ago )
McCarthy unveils House GOP's midterm agenda in Pennsylvania
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is rolling out his party's Trump-like midterm election agenda
10:47AM ( 1 hour ago )
Indiana appeals judge's order blocking state's abortion ban
The state of Indiana has appealed a judge’s order that blocked the state’s abortion ban from being enforced
10:40AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
'Knocking on famine's door': UN food chief wants action now
The U.N. food chief is warning that the world is facing “a perfect storm on top of a perfect storm" when it comes to hunger
9:13AM ( 3 hours ago )
Vatican cyclist spreading the pope's message at worlds
A plain white helmet like the pope’s skullcap
8:50AM ( 3 hours ago )
UN rights experts present evidence of war crimes in Ukraine
A team of experts commissioned by the U.N.’s top human rights body to look into rights violations in Ukraine says its initial investigation has turned up evidence of war crimes in the country following Russia’s invasion nearly seven months ago
8:39AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
US allows tech firms to boost internet access in Iran
The Treasury Department says it will allow American tech firms to expand their business in Iran to boost internet access for the Iranian people
10:55AM ( 1 hour ago )
French parliament takes on sexual misconduct, amid scandals
France’s parliament speaker on Thursday released the first public accounting of complaints to a special unit aimed at fighting sexual harassment and other misconduct
3:39AM ( 8 hours ago )
Antony Blinken's father, former diplomat and banker, dies
Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s father, Donald Blinken, a former U.S. diplomat, investment banker and modern art collector, has died
1:28AM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Montana voters to decide on 'born alive' abortion bill
A referendum on the Montana ballot in November raises the prospect of criminal charges for health care providers unless they take all medically appropriate and reasonable actions to preserve the life of an infant born alive, including after an attempted abortion
6:39PM ( 17 hours ago )
White House: GOP abortion ban would mean a nationwide crisis
The White House and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say a Republican-led proposal to ban abortion nationwide after 15 weeks would endanger the health of women and have severe consequences for physicians
6:17PM ( 17 hours ago )
Indiana abortion clinics reopening after judge blocks ban
An Indiana judge has blocked the state’s abortion ban from being enforced, putting the new law on hold as abortion clinic operators argue that it violates the state constitution
5:04PM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Kamala Harris talks abortion, appeals to voters in Milwaukee
Vice President Kamala Harris has met with college students and Latino leaders in Milwaukee during a visit meant to energize voters weeks before an election in which Wisconsin's Democratic governor, Tony Evers, and Republican U.S. senator, Ron Johnson, are on the ballot
6:24PM ( 17 hours ago )
Tears and hugs for Russians called up to fight in Ukraine
Russia is escalating its military and political campaign to take over Ukrainian territory
4:42PM ( 19 hours ago )
In Ukraine, Russia presses military and political campaigns
Russia is escalating its military and political campaign to take over Ukrainian territory
1:51PM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Elections
Congress eyes strongest response yet to Jan. 6 attack
House Democrats are voting this week on changes to a 19th century law for certifying presidential elections
2:07PM ( 2 days ago )
GOP's election-year standing with independents at risk
Some independent voters who began 2022 looking to Republicans for answers have drifted back to moving toward Democrats
2:18PM ( 3 days ago )
2022 could be a political watershed for Massachusetts women
The year 2022 is shaping up to be a watershed for women seeking political power in Massachusetts
12:06AM ( 4 days ago )
General Election News
After cancellation, Dems look to reduce future student debt
House Democrats are proposing new legislation that would increase federal student aid, lower interest rates on loans and take other steps to make college more affordable
11:38AM ( 1 week ago )
Election denier Bolduc wins New Hampshire GOP Senate race
Retired Army Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc has won New Hampshire’s Republican Senate primary and will face potentially vulnerable Democratic incumbent Maggie Hassan in November
2:13PM ( 1 week ago )
Conservative Bolduc wins New Hampshire's GOP Senate primary
Retired Army Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc has won New Hampshire’s Republican Senate primary and will face potentially vulnerable Democratic incumbent Maggie Hassan in November
12:05PM ( 1 week ago )
General House Election News
Pro-government rallies held in Iran amid mass protests
Iranian counterprotesters have gathered across the country in a show of support for authorities after nearly a week of anti-government protests and unrest
12:01PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Taliban: Car bomb near Kabul mosque kills 7, wounds 41
The Taliban say a car bombing near a Kabul mosque killed at least seven people and wounded 41, including several children
11:58AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Trump allies create a new super PAC called MAGA Inc.
Top allies of ex-President Donald Trump are creating a new super PAC that's expected to serve as the main vehicle for his midterm spending and could become a key part of his campaign infrastructure if he moves forward with a 2024 White House run
11:32AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Russian men join exodus, fearing call-up to fight in Ukraine
Military-aged men have joined an exodus from Russia on the second full day of a partial military mobilization
11:31AM ( 43 minutes ago )
Syrian official says so far, 77 dead in migrant boat sinking
Syria's health minister says at least 77 people died when a boat with migrants from Lebanon sank off Syria's coast this week
11:30AM ( 44 minutes ago )