(Reuters) - Republicans in the House of Representatives unveiled their “Pledge to America” campaign agenda on Thursday as they gear up for congressional elections in November.
While often short on specifics, the agenda aims to create jobs, shrink government and cut taxes. House Republican leaders have called for repealing Obama’s tightening of rules on the financial industry but the agenda does not include that.
“The agenda is focused on what the American people want done right now,” an aide said, adding House Republican Leader John Boehner still favors repeal.
Here is a look at the agenda, which Republicans hope will helps them to win control of the House from President Barack Obama’s Democrats in the November 2 election:
* Repeal and replace Obama’s landmark overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system with “common-sense solutions” to lower medical costs, permit Americans to buy insurance across state lines and enact liability reform to curb what critics call frivolous lawsuits against doctors.
* End government control of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which buy residential mortgages to free up lenders to engage in new deals. Both have been accused of poor decisions that undermined the U.S. housing industry.
* Save an estimated $100 billion by rolling back federal spending to 2008 levels, with exceptions for the elderly, U.S. troops and veterans.
* Impose a net hiring freeze on non-security federal workers. New employees would be hired only to replace those who leave.
* Allow small business owners to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income.
* Extend all Bush-era tax cuts “permanently” for the middle class as well as wealthier Americans. The cuts are set to expire at the end of this year unless Congress acts.
* Cancel all unspent money from Obama’s $814 billion economic stimulus plan. The program fell far short of expectations, even though the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates it boosted real gross domestic product in the second quarter by between 1.7 percent and 4.5 percent and raised employment by 1.4 million to 3.3 million jobs.
* Require congressional approval of any new federal regulations that may add to the budget deficit “or make it harder to create jobs.”
* Bolster border security and require that suspected militants be tried in military rather than civilian courts. In August, Congress approved $600 million in additional funds to improve border security.
* Work with state and local officials to better enforce immigration laws.
* Saying Americans are fed up with federal bailouts of failed businesses, Republicans promise to end the Troubled Asset Relief Program “once and for all,” saving taxpayers about $16 billion. Under current law, TARP ends on October 3, except for efforts to recoup allocated government funds.
Reporting by Thomas Ferraro and Richard Cowan; Editing by John O'Callaghan