House Republicans are apparently planning to announce a policy platform that criticizes Democrats’ popular cuts in prescription drug costs and opens the door to cuts to Social Security and health care, according to a report. document which leaked online on Wednesday.
House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) was set to announce the “commitment to America” on Friday, but instead, a multi-page document by that name briefly appeared online on McCarthy’s website on Wednesday. About an hour after New York Times reporter Annie Karni tweeted itthe part of McCarthy’s site with the document locked and accessible only with a password.
It is not clear whether the one page document was the entirety of what the Republicans plan to release or just a summary or a draft.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) Director of Communications knocked the GOP platform on Twitter featuring a series of screenshots of the now-protected website.
McCarthy claimed to be unaware of the apparent flaw. “I didn’t see it,” McCarthy told The Bharat Express News on Wednesday afternoon.
The website placed policies in four separate categories: economic policy; immigration and national security; schools, healthcare and technology; and an amorphous group of so-called government reforms.
The GOP document promises to “fight inflation and curb the cost of living,” but the only policies it proposes are federal government cuts. It also promises to cut taxes, which could increase inflation, and government regulations.
The platform also promises to “save and strengthen Social Security and Medicare,” but does not list any policies to do so. In June, Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee held a roundtable on Social Security, where they discussed policies that would reduce coverage and reduce benefits for seniors. The Republican Study Committee, a bloc of conservative House GOP lawmakers, has included a plan to massively cut Social Security in its proposed 2023 budget.
It also criticizes a provision in the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act that cuts the price of some prescription drugs for Medicare patients, calling it a “drug withdrawal plan” that “could lead to 135 fewer life-saving treatments and treatments.” Alongside these criticisms comes a pledge to “invest in life-saving treatments.”
While GOP candidates have tried to avoid talking about their stance on abortion following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the platform pledges to “protect the lives of unborn children and their mothers.”
A section on elections and voting rights winks at the election of former President Donald Trump by stating that there is a “crisis among voters who have lost confidence in our elections”. It then vows to introduce new restrictions on voter access, including mandating voter ID, easing the rules for purging voter lists, and increasing access for observers during elections.
The platform aims to recall the “Contract with America” proposed by former chairman Newt Gingrich ahead of the 1994 election as a list of promises of what Republicans would do if they took control of the United States for the first time in 50 years. Congress would win.
While Gingrich’s contract contained a list of 10 bills he promised would get land votes, the only piece of legislation mentioned directly in McCarthy’s Commitment is a Parental Bill of Rights that the party rolled out after a heated controversy over the teachings of so-called critical race theory. McCarthy’s platform also covered more sociocultural policy issues than Gingrich’s, which focused heavily on supply-side economic policies, government reforms, and changes in government welfare programs.
The document was expected to be vague, as several Republican party agendas have been in the past. A Politico story that previewed the document warned it would not go into policy specifics, in part to make it easier to digest the entire House GOP ideological spectrum. For example, the plan contains promises to reduce inflation without giving details.
Before the apparent online disclosure, The Bharat Express News asked McCarthy about criticism that the document was too vague. “There is only one party that has a plan to steer America in a new direction,” McCarthy replied.
The rollout was originally scheduled for Monday, but was postponed in light of wall-to-wall coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s death. It was rescheduled to be formally unveiled Friday in Monongahela, a small town just south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The House platform follows a similar set of policies released by Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.), the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Scott’s platform called for cuts to Social Security and health care, raising taxes on the poorest Americans, the completion of a US-Mexico border wall, and several hot-button sociocultural issues. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has distanced himself from Scott’s platform.
A request for comment about the leaked document to McCarthy’s office was not immediately answered.