Here's What Kevin McCarthy's GOP Has Planned for America

A new platform rolled out by House GOP leadership ahead of schedule attempts to distinguish the Republican Party from the opposition ahead of November's midterm elections.

The overarching themes of the "Commitment to America" agenda include economics, safety, freedom and accountability in government. The website for the platform says the United States "can't afford Democrat rule" and pledges to "get America back on track."

It highlights less foreign dependence on energy to prevent increased gas prices at home, and discourages the continued reliance on China for medical and technological supplies. The platform also aims to "protect the lives of unborn children and their mothers."

"Now, more than ever, Americans are struggling just to get by," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said in an ad released Thursday. "They're wondering if they can even make it. You know what's worse? The country's struggle goes beyond just the grocery store."

He alludes to record-high violent crime, and the "national security crisis" at the U.S.-Mexico border that includes elevated fentanyl-related deaths. He and GOP leadership, which includes Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and representatives Elise Stefanik of New York and Gary Palmer of Alabama, also blame liberals for school closures and lockdowns that have led to worse educational outcomes.

"The White House and the Democrat majority in Congress control Washington," McCarthy said. "They're in charge; this is their record. And yet, they want you to give them two more years of power."

Kevin McCarthy GOP Commitment America
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy answers questions during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on January 9, 2020, in Washington, D.C. On September 22, 2022, McCarthy and House GOP leadership unveiled their "Commitment to America" platform ahead of the midterm elections. Win McNamee/Getty Images

McCarthy told Politico that the four-point plan mirrors that of former GOP Speaker Newt Gingrich's "Contract to America" introduced in 1994. The new plan has plenty of support, McCarthy said, based on conversations with more than a dozen GOP colleagues that include members of the House Freedom Caucus.

"I haven't seen all the details, but I am excited about it. It's something the conference has been working on, gosh, seems like forever now," Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia told Politico. "I am really looking forward to a unified Republican conference. I really am. I want to see that happen."

But the overarching themes are not met with many specifics.

When mentioning domestic and international safety, the platform pledges to not "defund the police" and to "support our troops" but does not say how. Other specifics, such as how inflation can be lowered to aid American families, are also not mentioned.

Scalise said Tuesday that the GOP is "going to show the country what a Republican majority would do to actually address and confront the problems families are facing...we're going to provide solutions."

Politico said that "some Republicans privately raised concerns that after more than a year of planning, leadership won't match some members' expectations with its level of planning."

The platform's rollout was intended to be on Friday. But as noted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, it was "fumbled" when McCarthy's office accidentally posted the webpage ahead of time and failed to password-protect it.

"Screenshots reveal that House Republicans are doubling down on an extreme MAGA agenda: to criminalize women's health care, to slash seniors' Medicare (including with the repeal of the lower drug prices for seniors in the Inflation Reduction Act), and to attack our democracy," Pelosi said Thursday in a statement.

In comments Friday at the United Steelworkers Headquarters in Pittsburgh, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland called the new GOP agenda "long on slogans and short on details."

"That's because the true details of Republicans' agenda are too frightening for most American voters," he said.

Stoyer mentioned how Republicans voted against fixing and upgrading America's infrastructure, in addition to the Inflation Reduction Act.

"Like hard-working Americans across our country, 'Yinzers' [slang for people who live in the Pittsburgh area] want Congress to focus on how they can afford health care, access education and skills training, find good jobs that pay well—union jobs—and achieve economic security," he added. "They don't want extremism that seeks to tear America apart. They don't want 'MAGA' extremism. They want to make it in America."

"Extreme MAGA Republicans will roll out their so-called agenda today," Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York tweeted Friday. "Don't expect anything other than misdirection and misinformation."

Massachusetts Representative Katherine Clark, another member of House Democratic leadership, tweeted Thursday that "House Republicans are making a 'commitment' to ban abortion nationwide and criminalize women's health. We're committed to stopping them."

"MAGA Republicans released a blueprint for extremism," Clark told Newsweek. "Their vision is a future where women's health care is criminalized, prescription drug costs skyrocket, and Social Security and Medicare are slashed. Republicans are a threat to every American's freedom and security."

Newsweek reached out to McCarthy, Pelosi and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn for comment.

Update 9/23/22, 10:49 a.m. ET: This story was updated with comment from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Representative Hakeem Jeffries.