Rank-and-file House Republicans get their first glimpse at the GOP legislative agenda tonight, one day before the leadership team showcases the plan during a press conference and small business roundtable at a lumber warehouse in suburban Virginia.
The game plan is culled from the Republicans' "America Speaking Out" initiative, which solicited the online input of Americans for two months earlier in the year.
The GOP plan is divided into five, distinct policy areas: 1) the economy, 2) government spending, 3) health care, 4) government reform and 5) national security.
FOX was granted the opportunity to view the document ahead of its scheduled release.
The highlights in the economic area include:
- A move to "permanently stop all job-killing tax hikes."
- A plan to award small businesses a tax reduction of 20 percent of business income.
- A reining-in of government "red tape."
- A repeal of "job-killing business mandates." This specifically refers to a provision in the health care law that requires businesses to report to the IRS any transaction over $600. Small businesses argue the requirement is cumbersome.
The highlights in the government spending area include:
- An immediate reduction in all federal spending and a cancellation of all unspent stimulus money.- A cut in government spending to pre-stimulus and "bailout" levels.
- The imposition of a "hard cap" on discretionary spending, meaning the government can't go above a certain level.
- A request to hold weekly votes on spending cuts.
- "End TARP once and for all." That's a reference to the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which Congress approved to assist banks and financial institutions with liquidity in the fall of 2008.
- Demand a net hiring freeze of all "non-security" federal workers.
The highlights in the health care area include:
- A move to "repeal and replace" the health care reform law and instead approve medical liability reform legislation.
- A call to make the "Hyde Amendment" permanent. The Hyde Amendment is named after the late-Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL). Congress reauthorizes the Hyde Amendment every year. It builds a firewall that ensures that federal dollars are not used for abortion services.
The highlights in the government reform area include:
- A requirement that all bills lay over for 72 hours in the House before being voted on.
- The mandate that all lawmakers writing legislation must include a clause in the measure demonstrating that the bill would be "Constitutional" if enacted.
- An effort to prevent non-related bills from being packaged together.
The highlights in the national security area include:
- A requirement that all troop funding bills be "clean." In other words, that legislation must be free of any extraneous issues.
- The demand that terrorism suspects be kept off U.S. soil.
- A call to impose sanctions against Iran unless certain security conditions are not met.
Some have likened this document to the "Contract With America" that Republicans wheeled-out on the steps of the Capitol in September, 1994 before the midterm elections. Republicans won 54 seats that year and secured control of the House for the first time since the 1950s.
The Contract With America was a list of ten specific bills that the GOP promised to pass in the first 100 days if they won control of the House.
The House eventually okayed all Contract With America items. But most of the 10 died in the Senate.
Democrats responded to the plan almost immediately - and with fervor.
"Congressional Republicans are pledging to ship jobs overseas; blow a $700 billion hole in the deficit to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires; turn Social Security from a guaranteed benefit into a guaranteed gamble; once again, subject American families to the recklessness of Wall Street; and take away patients' rights," a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an email, adding Republicans will race back from the lumber yard in suburban Virginia to vote against a bill Democrats say that very lumber yard needs to get help.