During this month’s Republican primaries in New Hampshire’s two congressional districts, candidates were divided over supporting House GOP Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy. But on Friday, both Granite State Republican nominees embraced his policy proposal, the “Commitment to America,” designed to unify the party and help it win a majority in November.
McCarthy formally rolled out the plan in Pennsylvania, sending the message the GOP’s policies are focused on middle America. “We’re not in Washington, D.C., but Washington County, Pa. Because it’s about you. It’s not about us,” he said. It is an updated version of the 1994 “Contract With America” issued by then-GOP leader Newt Gingrich and the GOP House Caucus. Republicans went on to win control of the lower chamber of Congress that year for the first time since 1952.
“[Democrats] control the House, the Senate, and the White House. They control the committees. They control the agencies,” McCarthy said. “But they have no plan to fix all the problems they created. So you know what? We’ve created a commitment to America.
“What the ‘Commitment’ is, it’s a plan for a new direction.”
Republicans have picked four broad issues as their 2022 “Commitment to America” (CTA) platform:
- An Economy That’s Strong
- A Nation That’s Safe
- A Future That’s Built on Freedom
- A Government That’s Accountable
Republicans have simplified their messaging down to a single sheet of bullet points and are even handing out “pocket cards” for members, candidates, and supporters to carry with them.
Each issue is accompanied by a series of specific policy proposals, most of which Republicans have rallied behind for years. Some are vague, like “curb wasteful government spending” and “provide affordable options” for healthcare.
Others are more specific, and designed to put Democrats on the defensive.
For example, the CTA pledges Republicans to “cut the permitting process time in half” for energy infrastructure, a proposal likely to resonate as New Hampshire families order home heating oil or get their utility bills. Both incumbent Democrats Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas voted against expanded energy production, including allowing the completion of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
And Republicans are highlighting their commitment to increased border enforcement by supporting the construction of more “infrastructure” — a border wall — as well as “ending catch-and-release loopholes and requiring legal status to get a job.” It is another issue where Kuster and Pappas are on the wrong side of public polling.
First District GOP nominee Karoline Leavitt is on board.
“I am excited about the House Republican’s ‘Commitment to America,’ which lays out a robust plan to ensure a strong economy, a nation that’s safe, a future built on freedom, and a government that’s accountable,” Leavitt said. “Over the past two years, there is no denying that Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chris Pappas, and the Democrats have completely failed our nation.”
And just weeks ago, Second District nominee Bob Burns was declaring that not only would he refuse to support McCarthy for Speaker of the House if the GOP wins a majority, but Burns might run against him.
Now, however, Burns is embracing McCarthy’s plan.
“I am fully behind ‘Commitment to America.’ Kevin McCarthy has taken the issues important to everyday Americans into account and is unifying the party behind them. After Republicans take back the three federal seats in New Hampshire, I will work tirelessly to reduce spending, fight inflation, and restore American energy independence.”
NHJournal asked both Democratic incumbents if there were any policies in the GOP proposal they could support. Kuster and Pappas declined to comment.