In an effort to shed the party of no label, Congressional Republican leaders will launch a new initiative on Thursday outlining solutions the GOP hopes will convince Americans that they have tenable solutions to the issues gripping the country.The program, dubbed the National Council for a New America, which will involve town-hall-style meetings, will include not only House and Senate Republicans but also a panel of former and current state lawmakers whose roster reads like a whos who of potential 2012 presidential contenders, including former Govs. Jeb Bush (Fla.) and Mitt Romney (Mass.). A pair of current governors, Louisianas Bobby Jindal and Haley Barbour of Mississippi, will also join the group, according to a letter obtained by Roll Call.Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the partys 2008 presidential hopeful, will fill out the panel of experts.We hope that will form the foundation of a concerted, policy-based forum to listen to, partner with, and empower the American people with ideas and solutions that speak directly to the needs of our great nation, the letter reads. This forum will engage in a conversation with America that seeks to remove ideological filters, addresses the realities we are confronting, and speaks to the challenges our citizens are facing.In their blueprint for the Conversation With America not to be confused with the Contract With America that keyed the 1994 Republican revolution Republicans presented their solutions to the problems with the economy, health care, energy independence and national security. Many of these ideas have already been offered, but have gotten little traction in a Democratic-dominated Congress.While the group is led by Republicans, they wrote that the council would be open to ideas from Americans from every walk of life.We do this not just to offer an alternative point of view or to be disagreeable, the letter said. Instead, we want to ask the American people what their hopes and dreams are.The letter is signed by House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.), Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.), House GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.), Senate GOP Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas), National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas), House Chief Deputy Minority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Rep. Roy Blunt (Mo.), House Conference Vice Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) and House Conference Secretary John Carter (Texas).
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.