House Republican leaders unveiled their planned legislative agenda for the next year at a closed-door Conference meeting today, saying they plan to bring forward legislation that will focus on the economy and on the president’s health care law, Members and aides said.
Calling it a “plan of action,” Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) told Members the plan is designed to provide voters a message about how Republicans would govern if they gained control of the White House and the Senate.
“The president has given up legislating for the year. The payroll tax holiday extension was his last legislative priority, according to the White House. This means he knows 2012 will be a referendum on his failed policies, which have made things worse. It also means we have a year to show America what Republicans will do if we were in charge,” Boehner said in the meeting, according to a source present.
The Speaker presented six categories of legislation, all of which came under the heading of “jobs.”
The categories, which were based on polling Members on what topics the Conference should tackle, included tax reform, budget control and entitlement solvency, American energy, “Obamacare” repeal, reducing the regulatory burden and oversight.
Boehner also suggested the bills included in the agenda are designed to help Members with tough re-election campaigns.
“To do this we have to be smart, focused and mindful of the consequences of our efforts on the full Conference, not just those of us in 70 percent districts,” Boehner told Members at the meeting.
Boehner said the priorities in the plan are “all” consistent with the GOP’s 2010 campaign document “Pledge to America.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.