News / USA

Republicans Promise to Cut Taxes, Spending

Opposition Republicans promised Thursday that if they win the congressional midterm elections in November they will move to cut taxes, roll back government spending and create jobs.  The release of the Republican agenda comes less than six weeks until Election Day and amid public opinion polls that point to likely Republican gains in November at the expense of Democrats. 

Congressional Republicans call their plan the "Pledge to America" and it was unveiled at a hardware store in suburban Washington to symbolize their commitment to help small businesses create jobs.

The Republican leader in the House of Representatives, Congressman John Boehner of Ohio, says his party has been listening to Americans who have grown frustrated with Washington and the administration of President Barack Obama.

"And they see a government in Washington that is not listening, does not get it and, frankly, the American people think that Washington does not really care," Boehner said. "In order to create jobs, we need to end the uncertainty for job creators, end the spending spree in Washington and reform Congress itself."

The Republican plan promises to cut taxes, slash government spending and scale back regulations for business.  Under the pledge, Republicans would seek to rollback federal spending to 2008 levels and they would also try to repeal and replace the health care law signed by President Barack Obama.

Republicans say their priorities are to help small businesses create new jobs, reform Congress so it is more responsive to the people and continue to provide for a strong national defense.

Democrats were quick to dismiss the agenda as a rehash of Republican policies under former President George W. Bush and a return to when Republicans controlled Congress prior to the 2006 election.

That theme has been adopted by President Obama as he campaigns for Democratic congressional candidates around the country, including this recent stop in New York City.

"It is still fear versus hope.  It is still the past versus the future.  It is still a choice between sliding backward and moving forward.  That is what this election is all about.  And that is the choice you will face in November," Mr. Obama said.

Political pollsters and experts say there is little doubt that concerns about the economy will dominate the November 2 election, especially worries about the high unemployment rate, now at 9.6 percent.

Karlyn Bowman monitors public opinion at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.  She noted a recent survey in which a high number of respondents knew of someone who was out of work.

"And 70 percent of Americans said they knew someone who had lost a job.  That number and the other pollsters who asked that question has been a continuous 60 to 70 percent for the last year and a half.  No other issue comes close to dominating the electoral landscape as the economy does this year," Bowman said.

Public opinion polls suggest Republicans will do well in November and may be in a position to gain the 39 seats they need to retake control of the House.  Republicans need a gain of 10 seats to win back control of the Senate, but most analysts say that goal is politically more difficult.

The polls also show that most Americans have a dim view of Congress generally and that they lack faith in both major political parties.  In fact, most surveys show lower ratings for Republicans in general than for Democrats.

Even conservative supporters of the so called Tea Party movement are skeptical of Republicans, says pollster Doug Schoen.  Schoen has co-authored a new book on the rise of the Tea Party movement.

"While the Tea Party movement has, at this point, quite substantial disdain for the Democrats, it has almost equal disdain for the Republicans," Schoen said. "I think it is undeniably clear that in November Tea Party movement members will vote 75 or 80 or 85 percent for the Republicans just because they are not the Democrats, they are not Obama's party."

The legislative agenda released by Republican congressional leaders bears some resemblance to the 1994 "Contract With America" that helped Republicans take control of Congress for the first time in 40 years.  Although the House passed several parts of the "Contract With America", much of it was blocked in the Senate during former President Bill Clinton's first term in office.

You May Like

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

Report: US to Sail Warships Near Disputed S. China Sea Islands

Move will signal nonrecognition of Chinese territorial claims over area, Financial Times reports, citing senior US official More

Study Describes Ancient Deltas, Lakes on Mars

Research builds on recent NASA announcement that water flows on red planet today More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanoni
John Owens
October 08, 2015 7:32 PM
Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs