McConnell: GOP will detail election-year agenda in late September

Republicans will look to lay out their election-year platform in late September, GOP leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said Tuesday.

McConnell said that Republicans would definitely be laying out a formal set of proposals to take to voters this fall, but declined to get specific as to what the agenda might include.

"I think we clearly do need to make sure Americans know what we would do, and we're going to make that announcement in late September," McConnell said during an interview on Bloomberg television. The top Senate Republican refused to get specific, though, explaining: "I think I won't scoop myself."

The Kentucky Republican declined other specifics for now, as the GOP looks to repeat the election-year successes it enjoyed in 1994, when House and Senate Republicans won landslide victories in Congress after then-President Clinton's first two years in office.

Republicans that year produced their famous election-year manifesto, the "Contract with America," as a way to lay out their policy agenda to voters.

Democrats have put the pressure on Republicans to produce such a document this year, and the GOP appears to be headed toward doing so, but not after internal debate over whether such a move would be politically prudent. Republicans are giving their members a chance to consult with constituents during the August recess before crafting any formal document.

The document could forestall criticism, though, that GOP candidates are just running against incumbent Democrats and President Obama, rather than just running for some sort of concrete agenda. Democrats have already begun to ridicule some proposals as recycled from the last time Republicans controlled Congress — part of their election-year warning that a return to power for the GOP would mark a return to policies sought under former President George W. Bush.

McConnell wouldn't say whether he thought his party would pick up enough seats in the Senate (they need 10) to make him majority leader next year instead of minority leader. He did set expectations for a good cycle for Republicans, though.

"If the election were held today, we’d have a pretty good day. You know the party generic ballot question — would you more likely to vote for a Democrat or Republican — looks good," he said.

"I think mostly what's on their minds is restoring some sort of balance here in Washington," McConnell later added. "And they know who's in charge, they know who's in charge the last year and a half, and they'd like to put some checks and balances on that."