Republicans trumpeted their recently unveiled “Pledge to America” in their weekly radio address on Saturday, calling on Democratic leadership to implement their proposed policies while damning the ones Congress has already passed.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the chief deputy whip for Republicans and an author of the 45-page document, emphasized how “the land of opportunity has become the land of shrinking prosperity,” and that Republicans are heeding the call of Americans to stop government spending and scale back the role of government in social and fiscal institutions.
McCarthy blasted as a failed policy the $787 billion stimulus bill that Congress passed nearly 18 months ago, while stressing that Republicans would help Americans regain a voice in the halls on Capitol Hill.
“[The ‘Pledge to America’] commits to immediate action to change the way Congress works, recognizing that the current structure is rigged to minimize public scrutiny and facilitate unnecessary spending,” said McCarthy.
At the unveiling of the latest GOP platform earlier this week, House Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn BoehnerRyan delays committee assignments until 2017 Lobbying World 'Ready for Michelle' PACs urge 2020 run MORE (R-Ohio) acknowledged that Republicans got off track when they were in power during the George W. Bush administration.
And on Friday afternoon House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) office centered in on this admission in a press release, saying that “the Republican ‘Pledge to America’ is nothing more than a rehash of the same old failed Bush economic ideas that GOP leaders helped develop when they were in charge…that put the special interests first, hurt the middle class, wrecked the economy and buried the country in trillions of dollars of debt.”
No mention of the Republican’s ownership of Bush-era policies was made in McCarthy’s Saturday address, which instead blamed President Obama for creating the joblessness and economic hardships faced by Americans.
“As a result of the economically disastrous policies of the current administration, millions of Americans are out of work today, and our children will be saddled with a deficit and debt that is, by every definition, out of control,” he said.
McCarthy continued to address American voters, saying that “this pledge isn’t about Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives – it’s about you.”
The California Republican outlined the GOP plan as one committed to creating jobs, making America “more competitive,” cutting government spending, reducing the size of government, and reforming Congress.
“Our agenda seeks to eliminate uncertainty for the private-sector innovators and entrepreneurs who create jobs,” he said.
He also ripped the Democratic-led healthcare bill passed earlier this year.
The healthcare bill was also raised on Friday when Pelosi was asked whether she would encourage Democrats to take a pledge to maintain the healthcare changes enacted this year as part of their campaign promises.
“I'm not big on these pledges,” she told reporters at a news conference. “I think they're a lot of showboat myself. I don't like to take them. I don't like to exact them.”
McCarthy, in an effort to invigorate GOP voters, spoke in broad strokes near the end of his address, saying that, “[Republicans] are not ready to concede the fight for the prosperity of our country.”
“We refuse to believe that the same American dream that shone so brightly for our parents has dimmed for our children,” he said.