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Influential Republicans detail call to reform party, threaten to form new one

A group of influential Republicans on Thursday outlined their calls for reforms within the GOP as they threaten to form a rival party of their own.

A coalition of Republican and independent leaders released “A Call for American Renewal,”  urging “a principles-based vision for American leadership, as an alternative to the current direction of the Republican Party and growing extremism in the nation.”

The group’s platform is divided into 13 categories, starting with reforms that “make our system more accessible, transparent, and competitive, oppose the disenfranchisement of voters, and reject populism and illiberalism,” a knock at efforts in several Republican-led states to restrict access to voting. 

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The coalition also tacitly rebuked ongoing unproven claims in the GOP that the November presidential election was fraudulent. 

“We oppose the employment of fear-mongering, conspiracism, and falsehoods and instead support evidence-based policymaking and honest discourse,” it stated. 

The group’s memorandum condemns “all forms of bigotry,” demands that leaders “act with integrity and honor,” advocates for a “pluralistic society” and reaffirms “the Constitution's guarantee of free speech and freedom of the press as essential to accountable government.”

Among the signatories of the call are former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, former GOP Reps. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockFormer GOP rep calls on party to move on from 'patron saint of sore losers' Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden mission abroad: reward friends, constrain adversaries The Memo: Trump seizes spotlight to distract from defeat MORE (Va.) and Denver RigglemanDenver RigglemanDemocrats plot next move after GOP sinks Jan. 6 probe Cheney calls Greene's comments on House mask policy 'evil lunacy' Greene under fire for comparing mask policy to the Holocaust MORE (Va.), Lincoln Project co-founder George ConwayGeorge ConwayGeorge Conway: GOP blocking Jan. 6 commission 'more appalling' than both Trump acquittals Press: Get orange jumpsuit ready: extra large Influential Republicans detail call to reform party, threaten to form new one MORE and former Trump White House communications director Anthony ScaramucciAnthony ScaramucciInfluential Republicans detail call to reform party, threaten to form new one Anthony Scaramucci joining CNBC as a contributor Biden doubles down on normal at White House MORE

“These principles are vital to our individual and collective flourishing, overcoming modern challenges, and preserving our way of life. They’re a foundation to unite Americans from diverse backgrounds in common cause. Our nation is calling out for a new coalition of principled, pragmatic citizens to renew America and counter the partisanship and extremism infecting the country,” said Evan McMullin, a former independent presidential candidate and an organizer of the effort.

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News of the group's threat to form another party if Republicans do not break away for former President TrumpDonald TrumpKushner lands book deal, slated for release in 2022 Biden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Progressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC MORE was first reported earlier this week.

The organizers detailed the threat in their manifesto, saying it is their “intent to catalyze an American renewal, and to either reimagine a party dedicated to our founding ideals or else hasten the creation of such an alternative.” 

The group’s announcement on Thursday comes as the GOP continues to grapple with the fallout of the November elections and Trump’s repeated and false claims that the race was “stolen” from him. House Republicans Wednesday voted to boot Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyGOP's Stefanik defends Trump DOJ secret subpoenas McCarthy pushes back on Biden criticism of GOP at NATO Democrat Matt Putorti challenges Stefanik for NY House seat MORE (R-Wyo.) from her spot on House leadership because of her repeated criticism of Trump’s assertions.