Republicans will unveil new 'Contract' on Thursday in Virginia

By Michael O’Brien -The Hill

Republicans will unveil their new “Contract with America” in Virginia on Thursday, less than two months before election day.

The GOP, which appears poised to win back the House this fall according to several independent projections, is culling the list of election-year agenda items from its “America Speaking Out” program. A spokesman for that project confirmed House and Senate GOP leaders will introduce the new contract on Thursday.

The new contract, modeled after the 1994 “Contract with America,” is intended to highlight what the Republican party would stand for if it returns to power in Congress. For much of the last two years, Republicans have won points from voters chiefly by opposing the Obama administration’s agenda.

GOP leaders have already hinted at some of the ideas that could be included. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), for instance, has called for a two-year freeze in tax rates and a reduction in spending to 2008 levels. President Obama and Democratic leaders want to extend most tax cuts, but would raise taxes on families with incomes above $250,000 and individuals who earn more than $200,000.

Republicans have also pressed for the repeal of the healthcare reform law, and for replacing it with new reforms. Some GOP figures have also called for repealing Wall Street reform.

Social conservatives have also said they’re confident their views will be well-represented in the document.

Democrats, for their part, are also eager to have a look at the new GOP agenda. They are searching for opportunities to hit back at the GOP before November’s elections.

GOP leaders in the House and Senate have hinted for weeks that the document, in the mold of the 1994 “Contract with America,” would be coming in mid- to late September. Republicans won the House in 1994, and held it until 2006.

Republican candidates won’t sign the new governing document as GOP candidates did in a highly-publicized event in 1994. But it will provide the party with a list of items to take to voters ahead of the midterm elections in which Republicans hope to make major gains.

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