By Peter Schroeder - 07/16/14 10:34 AM EDT
House Democrats made a populist pitch for retaking the majority on Wednesday, detailing a 100-day legislative agenda aimed squarely at the middle class.
“Democrats have a straightforward, ambitious agenda. We will not waste time and taxpayer money,” said Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), the House’s No. 4 Democrat. “Give us a chance to lead the people’s House, and in 100 days, we will accomplish the work of America, putting the middle class first.”
They used a slogan-heavy rally on the Capitol steps Wednesday to draw a contrast to the current Republican majority, which proceeded Wednesday morning with a lawsuit against President Obama over his use of executive power.
“You couldn’t have a more vivid contrast in priorities,” said Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Democratic leaders rattled off a host of bills that they would move in the first 100 days of the next Congress, if voters returned them to the majority.
The priorities mentioned included a minimum wage increase, equal pay legislation, bills aimed at ensuring access to preschool and providing relief to student loan borrowers.
Democrats also vowed to protect women’s access to healthcare, cut special tax breaks for corporations and make it harder for companies to deduct the cost of CEO bonuses without giving workers a raise.
“The Republican majority have squandered their chance,” said Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the House Democratic whip. “It’s time for a change, a new Democratic majority that will hit the ground running."
Republicans were quick to criticize the Democratic push, hammering on their own campaign themes.
"We don't need a new slogan to know what Nancy Pelosi's agenda is: fewer jobs, runaway spending, and ObamaCare," said Matt Gorman, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. "We hope Democrats run on her endorsement and platform; there is no better way to ensure Republicans pick up seats in November.”