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Republicans Release 'Pledge to America' Ahead of November Elections

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives plan to release a campaign document Thursday that outlines their agenda, should they gain control of Congress in November's mid-term elections.

The so-called "Pledge to America" calls for scaling back federal spending to 2008 levels and repealing President Barack Obama's signature health care reforms. It also proposes a freeze on the hiring of federal workers with the exception of security personnel.

House Democratic leaders immediately criticized the plan, saying it would make the nation's problems worse.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement saying Republicans want to return to what she called "the same failed economic policies that hurt millions of Americans and threatened the U.S. economy."

Public opinion polls show that Republicans are likely to win more seats than they currently have -- perhaps enough to take control of the House or Senate from Mr. Obama's fellow Democrats.

President Obama said Wednesday that the health care reforms were needed because of rising health care costs. He said those costs were driving individuals, businesses and governments into bankruptcy. Many provisions of the health care reform bill take effect Thursday.

Republicans say the reforms will lead to higher taxes and government intervention in people's health care.

Unemployment, taxes and the deficit are also key issues in the congressional elections.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.