House Republican leaders are urging their rank-and-file Members to use next week’s recess to tout their efforts to bolster job creation and get the federal government back in the black.
The push comes as GOP leaders try to recast the party’s message to focus it more squarely on the economy. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) will unveil a “pro-growth economic plan” at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution on Monday, and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.) used the Republican radio address Saturday to tout “the new House majority’s efforts to help end uncertainty for job creators.”
Republican Members have been encouraged to use next week’s break to try to find ways to tie the party’s budget-cutting agenda to job growth, according to GOP recess talking points obtained by Roll Call.
“To help create jobs and save our children from national bankruptcy, we must stop spending money we don’t have,” states the recess packet issued to Members from the GOP Conference. “House Republicans will continue our work to keep the government running while cutting the Democrats’ job-destroying spending.”
Members are also being asked to lay the groundwork for next month’s budget debate — entitlement reform is likely to be a focal point and pit the parties against one another in a broader discussion about the deficit. Republicans are hoping the recess will allow them to get a jump-start on that fight.
“We need to share the facts about our budget with our constituents. And we need to do it now,” the packet advises. “Next month, your budget will address entitlement spending. You need to ensure that your constituents understand the breadth and depth of the budget crisis before we start to talk about solutions.”
Health care reform is another issue Republicans want Members to focus on. Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of President Barack Obama signing health care reform into law, and Republicans are encouraged to remind their constituents of a January vote to repeal the measure and a separate March vote to undo an unpopular tax reporting provision in the legislation.
Republican Members are also encouraged to use the recess to discuss the $61 billion in spending cuts included in the House-passed, long-term continuing resolution. That measure hasn’t moved in the Senate and has forced a standoff with Senate Democrats and the White House on a budget plan for this fiscal year.
Some legislative defeats are also part of the Republicans’ recess messaging plan for the recess. Among them is an unsuccessful attempt to “retrieve” $178 million in funds paid to the United Nations. Members are encouraged to point to it as part of an overall attempt to “change the culture in Washington.”