House Republicans are planning to unveil on Thursday a "Pledge to America," a 21-page policy platform, looking to mirror the success of the 1994 Contract with America in a potential wave election year.
Find below a full draft copy, obtained by CBS News. House Republicans were still meeting Wednesday to finalize it, Politico reported this afternoon.
The foreword of the document sets out an ideology of restricting the power and role of government. It sounds, more or less, like a speech being delivered at a Tea Party rally: peppered heavily with references to free societies and governmental hubris, it reads as if it were written in 1776 about the British Empire.
Whenever the agenda of government becomes destructive of to these ends, it is the right of the people to institute a new governing agenda and set a different course...In a self-governing society, the only bulwark against the power of the state is the consent of the governed, and regarding the policies of the current government, the governed do not consent.An unchecked executive, a compliant legislature, and an overreaching judiciary have combined to thwart the will of the people and overturn their votes and their values, striking down long-standing laws and institutions and scorning the deepest beliefs of the American people.
As far as policy goes, here is a list of the specific proposals contained in this draft document:
- extend Bush tax cuts for all earnings, including those over $250,000
- allow small businesses owners to deduct the value of 20 percent of business income
- require congressional approval for any federal regulation with a "cost to our economy of $100 million or more," in the hopes of eliminating excessive red tape
- repeal the 1099 business-reporting requirement for purchases over $600
- cancel unspent stimulus money
- hard cap on discretionary spending
- "significantly reducing" Congress's own budget
- weekly votes on YouCut initiatives--spending cuts proposed online by citizens
- cancel the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)
- end government control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- net federal hiring freeze on non-security employees
- require federal programs to end at a date certain
- set spending benchmarks for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
- repeal the Democratic health care reform laws
- expand Health Savings Accounts
- allow the purchasing of health insurance across state lines (Note: Republicans want to eliminate the Democrat-instituted regional health exchanges, replacing that scheme with cross-state purchasing.)
- "prohibit federal funding of abortions" (It already is prohibited technically, though sides disagree on this. The GOP, presumably, wants to return to the language of the Hyde Amendment and eliminate compromise language agreed upon last year.)
- allow any lawmaker to offer amendments to reduce spending
- no riders: pieces of legislation will not be packaged together